Trey Lance thus far has not lived up to the hype after he was selected third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The San Francisco 49ers traded a significant amount of draft capital to move up to select Lance. Currently the investment is not paying off and there have been rumors circulating about the 49ers fielding calls about trading the young quarterback.
There have been a variety of reasons contributing to him drifting towards the unfortunate label “bust”. Lance should not be labeled as such just yet. However let’s examine three reasons why he could fall into the bust category at the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Season.
REASON #3: AVAILABILITY IS THE BEST ABILITY
Trey Lance has been in the NFL for two seasons and is about to begin his third with the San Francisco 49ers. In that amount of time Lance has seen action in only 8 games. In those eight games Lance has only been the starter in three of them and relieved an injury Jimmy Garoppolo at halftime in one. In the other remaining four games Lance was brought in for specifically designed plays.
In two seasons Lance suffered a hand finger fracture, a knee strain, and two separate ankle injuries both during zone-read running plays. Lance has been so injury prone in such a short amount of time that Draft Sharks have given Lance a 69.5% chance on getting injured in 2023.
Currently Lance’s situation in San Francisco is that he is entrenched in a quarterback battle to be the starter. Lance is up against former New York Jet/Carolina Panther quarterback Sam Darnold and “Mr. Irrelevant” Brock Purdy. Darnold has never played a full season in the NFL in his five years in the league. Purdy is returning from an elbow injury he sustained in the 2022 NFC Championship.
Both Darnold and Purdy may not have a clean health history but currently they are outplaying Lance who besides not playing well is injury prone. If Lance cannot stay healthy in 2023 the front office (and his fans) will continue to doubt his durability and question his future in the bay area.