Trey Lance Found out 49ers Would Draft Him '2 Minutes' Before Pick Was Made

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

FILE - North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is shown at the school's football NFL Pro Day in Fargo, N.D., in this Friday, March, 12, 2021, file photo. Lance is a possible first round pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland.(AP Photo/Andy Clayton- King, File)
Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

Apparently the San Francisco 49ers kept their choice for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft close to the vest. 

After the Niners selected North Dakota State's Trey Lance with the pick, the North Dakota State quarterback told NFL Network's Melissa Stark Thursday, "I just found out two minutes ago." 

That tracks, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the "49ers did not tell their coaches or scouts their pick. They didn't know the team was selecting Trey Lance until the pick was announced."

San Francisco's pick was where the first real drama of the draft started, as it was widely assumed the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets would select Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and BYU's Zach Wilson, respectively, which they did.

Last month, the 49ers traded the No. 12 selection, first- and third-round picks in 2022 and a 2023 first-rounder to the Miami Dolphins to move up to the No. 3 pick.

Speculation immediately began about whether they would take Lance, Ohio State's Justin Fields or Alabama's Mac Jones with that pick. The team also still has Jimmy Garoppolo under center, so it was easy to wonder if it would trade him.

Along those lines, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the New England Patriots are not expected to acquire their former quarterback via trade "anytime soon" and would need to undergo "a complex contract negotiation" to trade for Garoppolo.

If the 49ers keep him, he could be something of a veteran mentor for Lance until the North Dakota State product is ready to take over.

There was plenty of drama leading up to the pick, and now there could be more as the 49ers look to sort out the quarterback spot with their new rookie.