The 49ers spent quite a bit of draft capital to move up and acquire Trey Lance with the third overall pick, and NFL analyst Brian Baldinger says he would be "shocked" if the rookie doesn't have the ball in his hands in some capacity come Week 1.
"The 49ers open in Detroit, and I'd be shocked — shocked — if Trey Lance doesn't get the ball in his hands (in) the opening game of the season," Baldinger told his co-host, Jason La Canfora, on the Baldy's Breakdowns podcast (h/t 49ers Web Zone). "I just think there's going to be a rotation. And I think Kyle (Shanahan) understands as well as anybody the need for continuity at that position and for a quarterback to find his rhythm.
"But I think there's going to be packages for Trey Lance, and it's not going to be just a run-read option. I believe that he's going to be given a series. I believe that he's going to be able to throw it. I fully expect Trey Lance to be on the field."
The 49ers' three preseason games likely will be a perfect chance for Lance to get his first snaps in an NFL environment, but Shanahan and the rest of the organization repeatedly have said the job remains Garoppolo's going into training camp.
Lance does provide a different element at the position with his athleticism, and we recently have seen NFL teams like the New Orleans Saints utilize multiple quarterbacks over the course of a game.
There have been an endless cycle of opinions on when Lance will crack the starting lineup for the 49ers, as folks around the NFL have been itching for live football to start back up since the season ended in February.
Shanahan is a notoriously tight-lipped coach, and he likely won't give much of a public indication on Lance's role until the regular season gets underway.
The 49ers clearly plan on eventually having Lance become QB1, but when that time will come remains a mystery.