The 2023 NFL Draft is just one week away, so it should come as absolutely no surprise that it’s gone public that the San Francisco 49ers are “receiving” calls on former top-five pick Trey Lance. Lance was the apple of the 49ers’ eye just two years ago in the 2021 NFL Draft when they traded up multiple first-round picks into the third overall slot to get their guy. Now, after a lost year to injury and the emergence of Brock Purdy, could the 49ers really be looking to maximize their value for Lance?
Even if part of their motivation is getting Trey Lance a change of scenery and trying to put him in a spot to succeed while moving on to Brock Purdy long-term, there should be suitors for Lance. Coming off of injury, he may not have the best trade value, but there are teams and executives around the league who had high opinions of Lance very recently, and he’s still just going to be 23 this season.
Which teams around the league could end up trading for the former North Dakota State star?
3 NFL teams that could trade for Trey Lance before, during, or after the 2023 NFL Draft
1. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are moving forward with a new era in 2023, hiring former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as their head coach. Ryans has appointed another former 49ers assistant — Bobby Slowik — to come in and run his offense. Recent rumors seem to indicate that the Texans are not sold on their QB options with that no. 2 pick overall in the 2023 NFL Draft…
People seem shocked by this news but the Texans are probably not good enough just yet to not at least ask the question — would we rather invest in CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis in this Draft versus shooting for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye (and the field) in next year’s draft?
Or maybe the Texans know enough about Trey Lance and his development that they are thinking — We could legitimately go into the 2023 NFL Draft and come away with two cornerstone pieces at picks no. 2 and no. 12 overall, and we could trade something else to get Trey Lance in the fold and have him compete with Davis Mills for a year before reevaluating in 2024.
Again, not many coaching staffs are going to know Lance as a player and person better than this group in Houston. This is a fit that could make a ton of sense given the fact that Houston has a player who could start if Lance isn’t healthy or doesn’t develop, and given the fact they may prefer the alternatives.