49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo Prepared To Mentor Rookie QB Trey Lance
The San Francisco 49ers took a pretty significant gamble during the 2021 NFL Draft by trading up to get the No. 3 pick. The 49ers gave up three future first-round picks and a 2022 third-rounder to snag the No. 3 pick from the Miami Dolphins. With the pick, the Niners selected quarterback Trey Lance.
49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was not surprised by the team’s decision to draft a younger quarterback. 49ers general manager John Lynch had informed the veteran of what they were going to do on draft night. There were no hard feelings, as Garoppolo appreciated the heads up by the team. “Yeah, John called me,” Garoppolo said. “He didn’t tell me who [they were taking] or how they were going to do it. But he gave me the heads up before. John has been really cool throughout this whole process. Throughout the whole thing, it could have gotten a little fishy here and there, but he was really straightforward, and I appreciate him for that.”
San Francisco will not rush to trade Garoppolo, but rather, the team will keep him because they have full confidence in his ability. “When he’s played, we’ve won,” Lynch said after the draft. “We know we can win with him. And yeah, that made the whole decision in the first place hard. I think it gives us the best chance, first and foremost, to win. I feel like we have a team that’s ready to. As ownership, to have that commitment to allow us to do this really makes for a good situation. That just gives us a chance. Then we’ve got to go do it. We’re excited.”
This feeling was reiterated by head coach Kyle Shanahan, who wanted both quarterbacks in San Francisco and was excited about Lance. “I want Jimmy to be here, and I want this kid brought along,” Shanahan told reporters last Thursday. “I want to see how [Lance] does, and if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition. I’d be excited about that if he showed he was ready for it and stuff.”
Veteran quarterback Garoppolo looks forward to having a mentor-mentee relationship with Lance. “It’s kind of coming full circle,” Garoppolo said. “You go through this NFL career, and you start as a young guy coming in. Tom [Brady] kind of showed me the ropes. The competition between us was awesome. It really made me grow as a rookie and as a young player. So, that’s kind of what me and Trey, we’ll mold our relationship into that. But it will happen naturally. It’s one of those things you can’t force anything. Just let it come as it may.”