The San Francisco 49ers have been praised for their draft pick since last Thursday when they selected North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick, but not everybody was happy to see them give up so much in order to do it.
Former San Francisco 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan, who ran the 49ers’ drafts from 2005-09, told Athletic reporter Matt Barrows that he gave Lance a pre-draft rating of 1.3, meaning the available information on the quarterback rendered Lance worthy of a pick somewhere between 21-32 in the first round.
“Would I have spent two (first-round picks) for him? Absolutely not,” McCloughan said. “Because there are way too many unknowns. Way too many.”
The 49ers traded up from the 12th overall pick to the third overall in a deal with the Miami Dolphins. In exchange, the Dolphins received the 12th overall selection from San Francisco, a third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023.
“Would I have taken him anywhere in the teens without trading? Hands down, yes,” McCloughan told Barrows. “I would have taken him for sure over (Mac) Jones. And personally, I would have taken him over (Zach) Wilson.”
McCloughan was complimentary of Lance in his player comparisons:
“Lance, honestly, I think he’s like (former Oilers, Titans and Ravens quarterback Steve) McNair and he’s like Dak (Prescott) from the standpoint that he’s a big guy, a physical guy, a tough guy, a smart guy,” McCloughan said. “He’s just not going to ever be great at one thing.”
“Whereas, like, (Patrick) Mahomes you say, ‘Well, he’s got arm talent, no doubt about it.’ Or you could say with Brett Favre, ‘He’s great because of the arm talent.’ Or you could say with Lamar Jackson, ‘It’s the athleticism and the big-play ability,’” McCloughan continued. “With Trey, there isn’t ever going to be one thing that you say he does the best.”
He also believes Lance is good enough to carry the right team to a title.
“He does everything good,” McCloughan said. “And that’s plenty enough to win a championship.”
The 6-foot-4 and 226-pound QB completed 208 of 318 passing attempts for 2,947 yds., 30 TDs and 1 INT in 17 starts in three years (2018-20) at North Dakota State.