The Trey Lance era has officially begun, and the takes are flying.
Some believe there is cause for concern already, with Mike Silver and Colin Cowherd both reporting that Lance has an arm fatigue issue that is worrying those within the 49ers organization. Others, like ESPN’s Louis Riddick, are going the other way, saying that Lance is going to be a star, and one that might look like one of the best players in the NFL as soon as this season.
“I’ll go so far to say this: We love to pick dark horses right?” Riddick said on ESPN’s “First Take”. “We love to pick long shots. I pick Trey Lance as my long shot to be the MVP this year, the same way I said it about Patrick Mahomes when he first burst onto the scene in 2018. That he can take this league by storm and surprise a bunch of people. It may start slow, but this kid is a unique individual in the way he is wired, and the athletic ability that he possesses.”
The comparison to Mahomes is an interesting one, considering the Kansas City quarterback started in just one game before taking over the starting job from Alex Smith, then promptly won an NFL MVP award in his first year at the helm. Both QBs took over teams with rosters ready to win now, and both QBs were considered extreme talents with question marks about consistency.
From what Riddick saw from Lance at North Dakota State, he is confident much of his skillset will immediately translate to the NFL level.
“When we get to year 2023, you will see all the things that I personally fell in love with about this young man in terms of his football character, his football intellect, the degree to which he was a leader at North Dakota State, the degree to which he threw the football beautifully up there at North Dakota State, I think we will all see this is why Kyle [Shanahan] wanted this guy,” Riddick said. “This is whey he believed he could take this football team to a whole new level and ultimately, as much as I love Jimmy G, he will be a distant, distant memory. San Francisco will be hoisting Super Bowl trophies again.
“Do not bet against him, I think he’s going to surprise some people.”