Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Where 49ers’ Trey Lance landed in Chris Simms’ QB ranking

May 18, 2022 at 12:25 PM--

Last year, NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms ranked Trey Lance at No. 38 in his top 40 NFL quarterbacks. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback jumped up the ranking in his second year, but not by much. Simms has last year's No. 3 overall pick listed at No. 31 in his 2022 quarterback ranking.

Simms admits it was challenging to figure out where to place Lance within his ranking. Lance only started two games during his rookie campaign and played just 178 snaps. Most expect him to be the 49ers' starter come Week 1. Although, there are certainly those who doubt that will happen.

"I see the talent, the potential, all of that," Simms said on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. "There's no doubt. If you are really into that, and you believe you can groom him and fix him and do some of that, I can get why you take him at No. 3. The arm is ridiculously strong, and he's a good athlete."

The 49ers must have felt that Lance could develop into an elite passer. The team didn't just take him at No. 3 overall. It traded away multiple first-round picks and a third-rounder to do so.

Simms says he hears how smart Lance is but has yet to see that brilliance on the football field. What does the analyst feel to be the biggest question surrounding Lance?

"I think the accuracy is still the biggest question," Simms responded. "Just pure ability to be a thrower and a passer. Again, every game was a [expletive] miracle to get back to 50 percent throwing. I mean, it really was. ... And I feel like Shanahan had to basically call plays to just go, 'Let's get his completion percentage up. Maybe we can end the game at 50 percent.' I really felt, as I was watching some of the games, that was part of it."

Simms also questions Lance's ability to throw catchable footballs, pointing to the drops by his targets last year during the preseason.

"He's throwing to a receiver [who isn't that far away], and he's throwing as hard as he can," Simms explained. "... It jumps out when you watch on film. ... And then, I think what added on to it, you see very few real quarterback plays [where he would] go through the pocket, read it, do all that.

"A lot of his big plays on the stats were what I call Shanahan Specials, where it's a great throw downfield and all that, but [expletive], he's wide open by 10 miles."

Simms doesn't believe Lance is the best quarterback on the 49ers roster, admitting that he has Jimmy Garoppolo higher than Lance within his ranking. Of course, Garoppolo's rank won't be revealed until later, so we don't know how much higher up he is. Simms does note that the chances of the 49ers starting Garoppolo this season are slim. It would take a significant loss of faith in Lance for that to happen.

"They tried to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, so we know where [their mind is at]," he shared.

Simms believes Lance's potential is high, which was the narrative surrounding the young quarterback as he entered last year's draft. The analyst believes that if Lance starts, head coach Kyle Shanahan can hide the quarterback's deficiencies while highlighting his strengths.

"The 49ers maybe are the best team in football," Simms added before saying that Shanahan has to start Lance to ensure he develops into the quarterback the 49ers hope he can become. If that happens over the course of this season, Simms believes the 49ers might be a tough team to beat down the stretch.

You can watch Simms' entire breakdown below.

Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Bruschi: 49ers' Trey Lance has 'most to prove' among second-year QBs

By David Bonilla
Jun 24

The quarterbacks from the 2021 draft class will be linked together and compared for a long time. Most received a significant amount of playing time during their rookie seasons. The one who did not was San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance. He started just two games and spent most of his freshman NFL season learning behind veteran Jimmy Garoppolo. The upcoming season will be different, though. Lance is slated to become the 49ers' full-time starter, with Garoppolo likely to be shipped out of Santa Clara. One ESPN analyst believes Lance has the most to prove among the 2021 first-round quarterback class that also includes Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones. "He is the one that has the most to prove because you almost have to prove your

Five Reasons to Trust Trey Lance as 49ers' Quarterback

By Bill Brown
Jun 25

With the debate raging in the media and fandom about whether Trey Lance will start this year, an important fact has been lost by some. The team says Lance will start. That begs several questions. What kind of quarterback is Trey Lance? What can fans expect from this fledgling play-caller? Can Lance buck the "Shanahan Curse" and win without changing his first name to "Jimmy?" These are fair questions (Well, maybe the last one is a bit facetious.). With all this in mind, here are five reasons to trust Trey Lance as the 49ers' starting quarterback this season: He has displayed incredible athletic potential. Trey Lance's college tape litters the internet. It isn't unusual to discover hours of footage covering all the plays

Sam Acho picks 49ers' Trey Lance as 2nd-year QB to make biggest jump in 2022

By David Bonilla
Jun 28

Last week, ESPN analyst Rob Ninkovich looked at the 2021 rookie quarterback class and stated he expects Trey Lance to make the "biggest jump" in Year 2. Another ESPN analyst, Sam Acho, agrees with that prediction. Why is Lance the best second-year quarterback, in Acho's opinion? It's because of the weapons around him. The 22-year-old quarterback will have wide receiver Deebo Samuel (assuming the offseason rift can be mended) and tight end George Kittle at his disposal. "Yes, there was a reason Zach Wilson was the second pick overall last year," Acho said. "There's a reason Trey Lance was third, right? Because he's that good as well." More critical for

Jerry Rice on why 49ers QB Trey Lance is 'ready to go'

By Kirk Larrabee
Jul 2

Jerry Rice seems to be all aboard the Trey Lance train as the 2022 San Francisco 49ers season approaches. The legendary former 49ers receiver spoke briefly about Lance with KSBW-TV in Monterey this week while he was in the area promoting his energy drink, G.O.A.T. Fuel. Rice was asked about Lance during his appearance and said he likes his dual threat potential over what Jimmy Garoppolo brings to the table and that he thinks Lance is ready to take over the team's starting quarterback spot this season. "Trey Lance, I think he's ready to go," Rice said. "And I think he's incredible because he has that one aspect that Jimmy doesn't have, and that's the threat of running with the ball and stuff like that. So his mobility, his strong arm, and this guy, he's before his


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone