This week it was announced that Sam Darnold was named the #2 QB behind Brock Purdy. This came after some woeful play during preseason. It was also rumored that the 49ers may be looking to offload Lance to a willing trade partner. As of right now, he remains a 49er. Considering what happened last year I honestly doubt the 49ers will trade him. SAME DAY EDIT: Lmao

The 49ers have been a strong team for half a decade now under Shanahan/Lynch and last year Brock Purdy earned that front office a lot of praise for taking them as far as he did despite being Mr. Irrelevant. But after this recent announcement, the media’s claws have come out and we need to start accepting that trading up for Trey Lance…was a really bad move. A trade that is so bad it deserves to be up there in the first-round bust trade Hall of Fame. The entire decision looks worse and worse as time goes on.

Not all of this is Lance’s fault. Obviously. Busts come in different flavors, and injury-preventing playtime is hard to blame on the player. Lance was supposed to be the guy last year but shit happened and the poor kid had some bad luck. Lance came into the league a giant raw project. Maybe the rawest 3rd overall pick of all time. He had one real season at North Dakota where he mostly ran the ball. Josh Allen was the obvious comparison but Allen took 2 years to develop into a good quarterback and there was no way Lance was going to amaze us all out of the gate. Lance needs playtime, he needs experience, and that’s kind of what makes the 49ers choice so goddamn weird in the first place.

Why did the 49ers go after Lance in the first place? Not just pick him, but give up a haul to ensure they could have him? Lance didn’t fit the 49ers to begin with. The 49ers were a strong, playoff-contending team on the upswing. They went to the Super Bowl two years prior and mostly missed the playoffs in the weird Covid season due to Jimmy going down. QB was an obvious need, but why a massive raw project player like Lance? Lance didn’t fit the Shanahan QB mold. Shanahan has been linked to guys like Ryan, Cousins, and Jimmy, dudes who are very far from Lance. Lance was a runner, a physical arm specimen not known for his accuracy or smarts or ability to manage a game. There is a reason that when the 49ers made the trade people started linking them to Mac Jones. Jones fit the mold. I don’t think I saw a single person speculating that they traded up for Lance.

Honestly, Jones would have been the better pick! Jones isn’t great but I think he’s more or less the same kinda guy as Purdy. He knew how to manage a stacked roster, he had plenty of experience in college, Mac would have fit the 49ers pretty well and he probably could have played immediately, unlike Lance. Of course, if Lynch and Shanny liked physical prospects who could run, WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY TAKE JUSTIN FIELDS? Fields was right there! He spent most of the season being the clear #2 behind Trevor and then had his draft stock fall for who knows what bullshit reasons. He was like the polished, experienced, and battle-tested version of the Lance idea. Lance at #3 shocked everyone when the pick was announced, but because Shanny has a good reputation, people were more intrigued than questioning. Well, 3 years later, it’s clear we should have been questioning.

It’s wild to think that just a few years after the 49ers fleeced the Bears when the Bears wanted Trubisky, the Bears would then benefit greatly by the 49ers getting even more fleeced in return. At least the Bears got a playoff season out of Trubisky.

The 49ers have generally been a very well-run team. Smart coaching, good management. They deserve credit for not imploding after the Chiefs Super Bowl loss and staying strong, building a dominant defense and an effective, creative offense. It’s made it easy to overlook the Lance-shaped elephant in the room. Lance might still pan out into something, time will always be the judge, but if the 49ers don’t win anything in what is very obviously their current window it will not be unreasonable to look at this pick and everything they gave up for it as a big factor that held them back in the end.

As for Lance, if he sees playing time this year, it’ll probably be in particular packages at most. Lance probably needs to leave Santa Clara if he wants a decent chance to get reps, playing time, and a future. SAME DAY EDIT: Lmao

SAME DAY EDIT: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I finally managed to get a comic out before jinxing myself. He’s a Cowboy now, 12 hours after posting this. That’s not a bad place for him to be. As for the 49ers? They turned 3 firsts and a 3rd into…a 4th round pick. Absolute waste. One of the biggest draft mistakes a team has made.