REASON #2: CAN’T CLIMB THE LADDER IN THE QUARTERBACK ROOM
Trey Lance is currently listed as “QB3” in the San Francisco 49ers quarterback room. Trey was drafted with the influence of head coach Kyle Shanahan with the intention of utilizing Lance’s abilities as a dual threat quarterback. Lance was the backup quarterback upon entering the league behind Jimmy Garoppolo. Injuries hampered his rookie season until 2022 where he was named as the starter. Lance lost the opening game of the season to the Chicago Bears who only won two more games that season.
Lance, who has entered the 49ers 2023 Training Camp healthy, is up against Sam Darnold and Brock Purdy. The two are hardly household names as Darnold is on his third team in five years and Purdy was the last pick in the draft in 2022 before taking over after Lance and Garoppolo were injured.
What is concerning about Lance’s future is that he is being outperformed by these two quarterbacks so far in camp. The most recent media reports describe Lance only completing one of four pass attempts and two were supposedly “gimmies” that he should have completed. One out of four may not sound terrible but Lance is also getting less repetitions than Darnold and Purdy who went 4-7 and 6-11 respectively.
Purdy had an efficient showing in 2022 playing in 9 games and completing 67.1% of his passes throwing for 13 touchdowns with only four interceptions. Additionally Purdy threw for 3 touchdowns in the postseason with no interceptions. Darnold has a less impressive resume with a career completing percentage of 59.7% throwing for 61 touchdowns with a whopping 55 interceptions.
While Purdy was the unsung hero for the 49ers in 2022 it is not as if Lance is competing against Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes for a starting spot. His struggle to compete with a sophomore quarterback coming off an impactful injury and a veteran quarterback with a high turnover rate is very significant.
And just for comparisons sake Lance has a career completion percentage of 54.9% (worse than both Darnold and Purdy) and has thrown for just 5 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. One could argue that Lance has such a small sample size because he has only played in 8 games but that just adds credibility to the “availability is the best ability” argument.