Lance is “The Pick,” but Garoppolo is still ”The Guy”
The rumors surrounding who the 49ers would pick with the #3 overall pick came all the way down to the final few seconds before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took to the podium and announced:
”With the 3rd pick, in the 2021 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select… Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State.”
For the first time since John Lynch sent four draft picks – including three first rounders – to Miami for the opportunity to move up to #3, 49ers fans finally have a bit of clarity–A BIT.
Most pundits and talking heads – myself included – felt all the smoke surrounding the Niners fire smelled of Mac Jones donning a 49ers jersey. Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan had other ideas. Was Jones the guy Shanahan initially wanted? Did the 49ers front office sway him to ultimately land on Lance? In the end, it doesn’t matter. Lance is the future of the San Francisco 49ers.
However, Jimmy Garoppolo is the present, and a healthy Jimmy G still represents the 49ers best chance at a return to the Super Bowl this coming season.
Popular theory has Lance learning – at least for one season – under Garoppolo. While I doubt Garoppolo would make it a point to not help the rookie, make no mistake, Garoppolo could care less about the development of Lance. Jimmy G is staring at a contract that will more than likely come to an end after this season. He HAS to perform this year. He HAS to lead the 49ers back to the Super Bowl.
His head coach has made it a point to publicly point out that he is a capable, but not a Top 5 quarterback in the league. While that’s true, Garoppolo has to ignore the noise – both internally and externally – and embrace the one thing that is indisputable about him when he lines up behind Center: the 49ers win football games. As long as Jimmy Garoppolo wins football games, he’ll be a prime target for teams looking for leadership at the quarterback position.
The Super Bowl was in Jimmy G’s grasp. He knows that. 49ers fans know that.
Garoppolo is not the quarterback of the future, but he is the quarterback of the present, and the only thing that matters in the present is a Super Bowl ring.
I look forward to Trey Lance being the quarterback of the future. But I’d be lying if I said I’m not more excited to see what a motivated Jimmy Garoppolo can do in the present for a 49ers team with Super Bowl wishes and championship parade dreams.