It is no secret, I am quarterback (QB) Trey Lance’s most outspoken critic in America. I put an undraftable grade on him pre-draft (click here to see report) and he turned my stomach on his pro days.
I watched Lance at North Dakota State play against Central Arkansas, James Madison, the University of North Dakota, and Butler and I was unimpressed. I watched every snap of Lance during the pre-season and I was even more unimpressed (see analysis). Since that time, Shanahan has done his best to keep Lance, himself, and team general manager (GM) John Lynch from being exposed, but yesterday it was confirmed for me against the Seahawks.
Lance is an athlete first who is trying to play QB in the National Football League second.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch mortgaged the future of the San Francisco 49ers, they traded three number ones, for a guy who even the announcers say is “trying to improve his mechanics.”
Give me a break.
When a team trades three number ones, we need to see a pro-ready, smooth, polished QB, not some hack from a small school who is working on his mechanics. See my QB2 Mac Jones for example (click here to see my pre-draft report on Jones), who Shanahan passed on. Shanahan could have actually stayed where he was at in the first round, taken Jones and still have the draft picks. Plus, he could have then traded QB Jimmy Garoppolo for even more draft picks.
Just that alone should make the 49ers’ nation question Shanahan’s thought process.
Lance consistently lacks touch on his passes – which I have been screaming through my keyboard. The announcers Sunday kept talking about that as well. He is throwing a simple short screen pass like he is trying to throw someone out at home plate from center-field.
While the football world will say, “look at that long touchdown pass,” that had more to do with Shanahan’s acumen as a play-caller than Lance. It was clearly a blown coverage by Seattle. Shanahan will be able to do more of that, but not enough. The 49ers’ are not going anywhere with Trey Lance.
It is funny, I wanted to bet one of my friends over the weekend, who is a high-level director on an NFL team. This friend loves Trey Lance. I obviously can not stand him as an evaluator. He asked me how much money I want to bet that Lance will turn out to be a good NFL QB. I said, “I want to do more than that. I will bet my next NFL scouting job he isn’t and when I am proven right, you walk into the owners’ office and recommend me.”
He would not take the bet.
7 rushing attempts for 41 yards against Seattle and those 7 attempts further illustrate what I am saying. It Is ingrained Lance instinctively wants to run first. He did the same thing in college. It was all on the game film Shanahan must not have watched prior to the draft?
Did anyone see the two passes defenders on Seattle batted away when Lance flirted with two interceptions downfield. Defensive backs will start catching those soon enough – – just like they did in the pre-season.
I am more disappointed in Kyle Shanahan than I am even in Trey Lance. After growing up in the shadows of John Elway, I can not believe he would trade away the future of the franchise for a project like Trey Lance.
I am also equally disappointed in GM John Lynch who came up under the same Hall of Famer Tony Dungy I interned with at the Minnesota Vikings.
Guys like this should know better, but for whatever reason, they did not and it is going to cost them their jobs in San Francisco.
Players are what they are and the number one mistake teams make is thinking they can “work with a guy,” or “coach him up.” No, it does not work that way. Players are what they are.
Dear Mr. York, when I am proven right about Lance, I would love to meet with you. Please consider me. I have a lot of ideas that will win Super Bowls for your team.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.