The debate and speculation as to who the 49ers will take with the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft has come to an end. Now begins a different kind of debate: when Trey Lance should get the starting nod over current starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
You can start to imagine what this summer will look like. Every time Lance makes an incredible play in practice, fans will clamor for him to start Week 1. The clock is officially ticking on Garoppolo's time with the 49ers, and every impressive showing out of Lance from here on out will only chip away at that time.
As of right now, the 49ers have no plans to move on from Garoppolo. The veteran QB is expected to remain the teams' starter for the time being.
“It would be very hard for us, and disappointing to not have [Jimmy Garoppolo] this year," Kyle Shanahan told ESPN's, Scott Van Pelt. "You always gotta look into the best things in your organization and you’ll never pass anything up no matter how hard it is if you truly believe it helps your organization.”
The issue the 49ers have with Garoppolo is the injuries he has sustained two of the past three seasons. As of right now, Garoppolo has recovered from his ankle injuries and ready to compete.
“Jimmy is healthy. Jimmy is here, working his butt off, he’s doing everything," Shanahan said. "It’s going to be very hard for a rookie to come in and beat Jimmy Garoppolo out, he’s a pretty good player. That’s why I like the situation that we are in."
That begs the question: Will Lance play this upcoming season? How soon before the rookie gets his shot?
"We’ll see where [Lance] is at, we’ll see how he does in OTAs," Shanahan said. "I love how we’re given those, he’s going to come here tomorrow and we’ll be able to talk to him in person. Jimmy is our quarterback right now, and Trey is going to come in here and try and compete. He’s going to do everything, and the day that it looks like Trey can compete with him, and he’s ready to go, we’ll know that and our players will see that and we won’t hesitate on that."
The 49ers are in a unique situation. They were drafting at pick No. 3, but the roster is anything but that of a team selecting in the first three picks. Many believe that the 49ers have a Super Bowl-caliber roster, and Garoppolo still gives them a shot at making another run this season.
"We have someone we can win with, we have a very good backup now with this rookie who we believe will only get better and better. The day he is ready, the day he gives us the best chance to win, is the day that happens.”
There's an old saying that goes "If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback."
That does not apply to the 49ers in this situation. They have an average-above average QB who has an impressive track record of winning, and (eventually) the future face of the franchise waiting in the wing. It's a great position to be in and should be a lot of fun to watch.