Trey Lance is slated to become the future face of the 49ers after being selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. For now, he will compete with current starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo at training camp. Garoppolo will take on a mentor role as the 49ers continue to develop Lance at the professional level.
Shortly after Lance's name was called early Thursday night, Garoppolo got a head start on his leadership duties. 49ers.com reporter Keiana Martin reported that Garoppolo has already asked for Lance's phone number.
When the 49ers made the trade to the No. 3 pick, Kyle Shanahan revealed that Garoppolo was upset with the move, and understandably so. Having led the 49ers to a Super Bowl in 2019, Garoppolo has been the face of the franchise since arriving in Santa Clara in the middle of the 2017 season. Now, he will compete alongside the player who will eventually take his job.
Garoppolo has received endless praise regarding his leadership ability and is very well-liked within the clubhouse. Being one of the first to welcome Lance after what can only be imagined as a stressful month for Garoppolo, is a classy move and a sign of a true team player.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan met with the media after selecting Lance and doubled down on their desire to keep Garoppolo around for the foreseeable future.
"Now, we made this move, so it's obvious what I hope and what I believe in with this guy coming in, but it would be a very tough situation if Jimmy's not on our team," Shanahan said when asked if Lance would compete with Garoppolo. "I want Jimmy to be here and I want this kid to be brought along. I want to see how he does and if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition. I'd be excited about that if he showed he was ready for it and stuff, but we know where Jimmy's at."
Lynch and Shanahan once again were careful with their comments, leaving the door open to the possibility that Garoppolo could eventually be traded. For now, though, Garoppolo is taking to his new role like a true pro.