When the 49ers made their blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft, they knew they were picking a quarterback. The question was, which one?
NFL Media's Jim Trotter reported Friday that coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch did not discuss which QB they wanted until Monday, 31 days after the trade and just three days before the draft. It was clear they both wanted North Dakota State's Trey Lance
"Are you ready to draft Trey," Shanahan asked Lynch.
Lance always was the player Lynch wanted deep down, but he kept it to himself as the 49ers went through the full evaluation process of Lance, Ohio State's Justin Fields and Alabama's Mac Jones. The 49ers did end up with Lance, but they needed some help from a franchise legend first.
Trotter reports that shortly after the 49ers made the big trade, 49ers CEO Jed York called a friend. That friend happened to be none other than running back Frank Gore. York wanted to know if Gore knew anything about the QBs in this year's draft. He then specifically asked him to look at Lance.
Weeks went by without a word. Nothing from Gore. Oh well, worth a shot.
Then, York's phone rang late Tuesday night. It was Gore. The missed call followed with a text urging York to call Gore back. He was all-in on Lance.
"You don't give up all that for a pocket passer," Gore said to Trotter. "You don't give up all that and still need to call a perfect play for a guy. This guy can make plays even when the call ain't perfect. He has a chance to be special in that offense."
Lance has the stamp of approval from all who matter. That now includes Gore, who is a pretty good guy to have on your side.