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Trey Lance Drafted by 49ers: San Francisco's Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance scrambles against Central Arkansas in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State won 39-28. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

After one full season as North Dakota State's starting quarterback, Trey Lance has been taken by the San Francisco 49ers with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Lance is the second Bison quarterback to have been selected in the first round. Carson Wentz was taken No. 2 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lance only played one game as a junior in 2020.

Lance's accuracy and dual-threat ability made him one of the most exciting prospects in this year's class. Here's what the 49ers' depth chart looks like with the 20-year-old on the roster:

QB - Trey Lance*, Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, Josh Rosen

RB - Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert, Wayne Gallman, JaMycal Hasty

WR 1 - Deebo Samuel, Mohamed Sanu, Jalen Hurd

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WR 2 - Brandon Aiyuk, Richie James, Trent Sherfield

TE - George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, Ross Dwelley

LT - Trent Williams, Shon Coleman

LG - Laken Tomlinson

C - Alex Mack, Weston Richburg

RG - Justin Skule, Daniel Brunskill, Isaiah Williams

RT - Mike McGlinchey, Colton McKivitz, Dakoda Shepley

Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.

There are going to be questions about Lance's ability to play in the NFL. He didn't play a single game against FBS competition in his college career. North Dakota State was scheduled to open the season at Oregon on Sept. 5, but the pandemic forced the game to be canceled.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranked Lance as the 13th-best prospect in the 2021 draft class.

"He has only one career game of 300-plus passing yards, and we never saw him in action against an FBS foe," McShay wrote. "But the third-year sophomore is effective dropping from under center and selling play-action, and his downfield touch is strong, despite some inconsistent placement on shorter throws."

The Minnesota native led the Bison to the FCS national championship in 2019. He also won the Walter Payton and Jerry Rice Awards after throwing for 2,786 yards, running for 1,100 yards and accounting for 42 total touchdowns in 16 games.

Even though Lance may have a steeper development curve than most of the top quarterbacks in this class, his accuracy on deep passes and speed out of the pocket give him one of the highest ceilings of any player.

After an offseason of rumors about Jimmy Garoppolo's future in San Francisco, head coach Kyle Shanahan has sent a clear message about the team's quarterback room. 

Garoppolo is still good enough to start for the team in 2021 as long as he can stay on the field. Durability has been a problem for the 29-year-old throughout his career. He's only started all 16 games in a season once in the past three years. 

Shanahan's offensive system relies on a lot of play-action and rollout passes that a player like Lance is absolutely capable of making. Garoppolo is an old-school quarterback in that he's very stationary inside the pocket. 

Lance absolutely fits the model of a modern-day quarterback with his arm talent and mobility. He is going to take time to develop because of his limited college experience, but the upside is high for a San Francisco team that doesn't have to throw him into the starting lineup right away if Garoppolo plays well. 

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