Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch, 49ers have no second thoughts on trade for Trey Lance

Dec 23, 2021 at 1:33 PM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has put together a nice string of games over the last couple of months, with his best game, per Pro Football Focus' grading system, coming on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The team hopes that continues into Thursday night when the Tennessee Titans host the visiting 49ers.

Meanwhile, rookie Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft, has played just 116 snaps compared to Garoppolo's 784. The majority of that limited number came in Week 4 in relief of an injured Garoppolo, and then in Week 5, Lance's only start of the season. Lance has not attempted a pass since.

San Francisco traded up to draft Lance, surrendering multiple first-round picks and a third-rounder for the former North Dakota State quarterback. There are no regrets. At least, not in the mind of general manager John Lynch, who acknowledges that Lance remains the 49ers' quarterback of the future.

"Obviously, we invested a ton in Trey," Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. "And the great news there is that we're as excited about him as ever. He's been doing tremendous things. You talk about development; I've watched him, and yeah, the best kind of development is going and playing, but you can also get better out here on the practice field.

"He runs [the] scout team, and he's doing it extremely well. He's preparing each week as if he's going to play. I've really respected that part, but that's kind of who he is.

"We talked about when we made the move, we decided and had the blessing of our ownership to keep Jimmy here as well. That provided for tremendous quarterback depth as well and for a team that we thought was well-positioned to make a run. We're not there yet, but I think we're starting to show the signs of a team that can make that run, and that's a good thing."

Following Sunday's win against the Falcons, linebacker Fred Warner commented that Garoppolo is the 49ers' undisputed leader. However, Lance has been impressive during practices.

"Trey has got a bright future ahead," Warner said via Kirk Larrabee. "We see it every day in practice on our side because he's out there dicing us up."

The 49ers general manager sees that too and feels Lance's time on the practice squad will eventually pay dividends.

"He's always been good on [the] scout team, but it's just a step above," Lynch said. "Kind of making throws that are 'Wow' throws but also making the routine [plays], executing that, hitting a guy on the right shoulder so that he can turn away from a defender coming, making quick decisions. And you're doing that off a card.

"But I think [where] Kyle [Shanahan] and his staff, Rich Scangarello, have done a great job is teaching Trey. And they sit with him before and say, 'Hey, when we're running these cards, all these concepts are the same as what we're running, so put this in our playbook. You do a little translation before the play.' And so Trey has done a really nice job of that, and I think we've seen incredible growth.

"He continues to hone his throwing motion to make it a little more compact and things, and he's making great strides in all of those respects."

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