The 49ers are betting on Trey Lance to take them back to the Super Bowl.
Weeks of mystery were finally unraveled Thursday when San Francisco selected Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, setting him up to be the franchise quarterback of the future.
Lance was all smiles in Cleveland as he spoke to NFL Network’s Melissa Stark, saying the 49ers didn’t tip him off about drafting him.
“Just found out two minutes ago,” Lance told Stark. “I really did. It means the world to me. I’m super excited, blessed. Just thankful for everyone helping me to get to this point.”
Sounds like he heard the news at the same time as everyone else.
The talk leading up to the draft focused on Lance in a three-man competition with Alabama's Mac Jones and Ohio State's Justin Fields to be the 49ers’ franchise quarterback. The betting favorite swung from Fields to Jones but eventually settled on Lance in the waning hours, along with the consensus among NFL general managers.
Still, as the time ticked off the clock following Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson’s expected selections at No. 1 and No. 2, the anticipation didn’t fade until Goodell uttered the words, “With the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select Trey Lance.”
The 49ers are taking a big leap of faith on Lance, but the mind swims in the possibilities of the 2021 playbook with coach Kyle Shanahan with a dual-threat quarterback.
"I’m just super excited to get to work," Lance said. "Just super excited to get to know my teammates and get in that locker room."
Lance is listed at 6-foot-3, 224 pounds and put up some incredible numbers while going undefeated with FCS North Dakota State University. He racked up 28 passing touchdowns without throwing a pick, 2,786 passing yards, 1,100 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns while leading NDSU to the 2019 FCS title.
He only played one game last year, but the 49ers have done their homework with this franchise-changing decision and have their man.
"They’re gonna get everything I got," Lance said. "I promise you that."