After weeks of anticipation, we finally know who the 49ers were eyeing following their pre-draft trade to jump up nine spots on Thursday. With the third-overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers selected quarterback Trey Lance out of North Dakota State.
Despite playing just one game in 2020 amid a postponed season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lance has been highly regarded as a Top 5 quarterback. During his 2019 campaign, the quarterback threw for 2,786 yards on 287 attempts and 28 touchdowns, while completing nearly 67 percent of his passes. He set an NCAA record for the most passes thrown in a season without an interception during that year.
Considered a dual-threat quarterback, Lance has rushed for nearly 1,200 yards in his two seasons at North Dakota State, the most yards of any other first-round QB prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The former Bison boasts a strong arm coupled with size and speed. Although he lacks significant starting experience (17 starts), he's been regarded as raw talent with a high ceiling given time to groom and develop in the NFL. Lance has been widely tied to the 49ers throughout the pre-draft process, given his high football IQ that drew many pundits to predict for him to thrive in San Francisco's offense. With Lance under center, North Dakota State was known for their quick passing game off of play-action, a staple in Shanahan's scheme, which is likely to have played a large role in the franchise's decision.
Welcome to the family, Rook.