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Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch believes Trey Lance, 49ers’ entire 2021 draft class will prove to be productive

Nov 11, 2021 at 5:55 PM--

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Everyone is wondering when rookie quarterback Trey Lance will receive more meaningful snaps for the San Francisco 49ers. He hasn't been on the field since Week 5's start in place of an injured Jimmy Garoppolo.

Some have been critical of the 49ers' development plan for the 21-year-old quarterback, feeling that more in-game experience would be far more beneficial than observing Garoppolo from the sidelines.

A few have even been quick to judge Lance as another draft misfire due to his inability to get onto the football field and observing other rookie quarterbacks around the league receive more playing time.

"Look, we had a plan with Trey," general manager John Lynch said on KNBR's Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks show. "And I can tell you this -- I've said it over and over. I'll continue to say it because it's what I believe. I'm as convicted that Trey Lance is the right guy [as ever]. It's the guy we should have taken. It's the guy we had the conviction with. And I'm even more convicted now. I just think [the in-game experience] has got to be at the right time.

"I think Jimmy's played pretty well here the last couple of weeks, and we're still very much in [the playoff picture], albeit from the outside looking in. We still feel like we can claw our way back, and if Trey can be a part of that, great. But you're also gauging when's the best time for him.

"We fully know that, at some point, you've got to throw him out there and just play him because that's how you get better. But we want it to be the right time for him, for our team. So, we're working hard to try to come up with that."

Lynch also discusses the rest of his most recent draft class. The GM says offensive lineman Aaron Banks, the team's second-round pick, is "improving each and every week." Banks has been active for just one game this season.

"We expected him to come in and compete for a starting job," Lynch explained. "He got hurt in training camp, and it put him behind the eight ball. A lot of people want to poke holes in Dan Brunskill's game but he plays pretty solid each week. We had a starter there, so Aaron's coming along."

Lynch goes on to say that no one is disappointed in running back Trey Sermon, a third-round pick. He doesn't feel that it is necessarily a negative that the team's sixth-round pick, Elijah Mitchell, has played well enough to command more snaps than Sermon.

"Trey's going to be fine," Lynch added. "... Trey Sermon, with Hasty going out, Trey Sermon's going to get his shot [on Monday]. So we'll get to see a little bit more of him and Elijah."

JaMycal Hasty did not practice today because of an ankle injury.

Lynch says cornerback Ambry Thomas, a third-round pick, and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, a fifth-round pick, have had good weeks of practice.

"Those guys are going to get their chances, so that's coming," Lynch said. "... I think at the end of the day, this is going to be a really productive draft class. I really believe that in my heart. I know that's hard for people to [believe]. 'Well, why aren't they playing?' It's because I think we came into this season with a pretty solid roster.

"We were looking for a guy with starting traits, and we believe Ambry has that. We also knew he had taken a year off. He was a COVID opt-out, so it had been a while since he played. He needed to develop some strength. He's done a really good job of working on that. Now, we feel like he's [closer] to being ready."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.


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