The 49ers have their guy.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch selected North Dakota State QB Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and they had a lot to love about Lance -- specifically his intelligence.
Lance was viewed by many as one of the smartest QBs in the draft, and that was a big factor for the 49ers.
Playing in one game this past season due to NDSU's season getting canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lance has not put together a full season's worth of tape since 2019, a season in which he threw just one interception.
In addition to his arm talent and his ability on the ground, Lance's intelligence and decision-making more than makes up for his lack of experience at the highest collegiate level. NDSU is a Division 1 school, but plays in the FCS subdivision, a tier below the top competition.
One factor working in Lance's favor is that the offense at North Dakota State is viewed as a pro-style offense, something that could help Lance with his transition to the NFL.
The Lance pick came as a surprise to many who pegged Alabama QB Mac Jones as the likely selection. It turns out, those inside the 49ers building may have been surprised by the pick as well.
It's unclear just how long Lance will have to wait before he plays in a regular-season game for 49ers, but for now the rookie will develop behind current starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo.