Can a rookie quarterback win the Super Bowl? That's the question Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will have to ask themselves if they do indeed trade Jimmy Garoppolo while also taking a QB with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
No rookie has ever led his team to the Super Bowl, but top prospect Trey Lance believes it can be done.
"Yeah, absolutely," Lance said to Niners Nation. "I think Carson [Wentz] is a great example of how well he played his rookie year. My biggest thing is coming in first and earning the respect of my teammates and everyone in the organization and learning as much as I possibly can. At that point, whatever my role is for Week 1, I'm gonna do that to the best of my ability.
"Obviously I'm gonna compete for the spot. I signed up for this because I want to play football. That's what I love to do, so I'm looking forward to it."
Shanahan continuously said Monday during his pre-draft press conference the 49ers are looking for a "starting quarterback" with their top pick. That could be a hint that they are changing their plan and moving on from Garoppolo and choosing to insert a rookie as the starter in 2021. Could that rookie be Lance?
The 49ers reportedly had their sights set on Alabama's Mac Jones after moving up from No. 12 to No. 3 in the draft, but Lance has made this a much harder decision.
Lance is the biggest mystery in the draft. He also believes he could have the highest upside of the top QBs.
"I'm confident in myself and I believe in myself and I think I have the potential to be the best quarterback in this class," Lance said Tuesday morning on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."
Lance is just 20 years old and only has started 17 college games, which happens to be the same as Jones. But he played at North Dakota State compared to Jones competing in the SEC.
The young QB has the size, skills and athleticism to excel at the next level. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, he threw 28 touchdowns and ran for 14 TDs. He also wasn't intercepted once.
Plus, NDSU's offense featured a lot of Shanahan concepts under center with multiple backs and a plethora of play-action passes.
Is Lance the answer to the 49ers' Quest for Six? We soon finally will find out.