The 2021 NFL rookie quarterback class is nothing if not exciting. So much so, in fact, that two of the first-round prospects already are being mentioned in the same sentence as Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.
With the No. 3 pick in the draft, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Trey Lance out of North Dakota State. Another name in consideration was Ohio State QB Justin Fields, whom the Chicago Bears selected with the No. 11 pick. The 49ers passed on the more experienced Fields in order to select Lance, who is commonly viewed as more raw of a talent, but with potentially more upside.
Did San Francisco make the right choice? Only time will tell. For now, though, the two will likely compete within the same league as one another for years to come.
Just like two of the game's most famous rivals.
Neither Lance nor Fields have played in a regular season NFL game and they're already drawing comparisons to one of the best quarterback rivalries in the history of the game.
ESPN's Sam Acho expanded on his take, by saying:
"We all get excited about Trey Lance," Acho said. "And yes, Jimmy [Garoppolo] may start, but we all get excited about Trey Lance, especially with Kyle Shanahan's offense. We all saw what Kyle Shanahan did with RG3.
"I played against San Francisco. That was the most difficult offense I ever had to go against. And you add a guy like Trey Lance in that offense? I think he's going to be dominant for a long time. … These two young quarterbacks are the future of the NFL."
Both being mobile quarterbacks with electric arm talent, Fields and Lance are similar in many ways. Each is expected to begin the season as the backup for their respective team but should find their way onto the field sooner rather than later.
The 49ers travel to Chicago to play the Bears in Week 7, where the Lance-Fields rivalry could begin to take shape.