The San Francisco 49ers have got their man. After weeks of speculation, it was quarterback Trey Lance out of North Dakota State University to whom the 49ers brass chose to pin their futures and the future of the franchise.
Just hours after general manager John Lynch made the call to Lance to let him know he would be selected as the next signal caller of the historic franchise, the 49ers official Twitter account released a video of the conversation between the two men.
“Welcome to the #49ers buddy. So happy to add you to our family.”
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) April 30, 2021
“Welcome to the 49ers, buddy,” Lynch said to a visibly emotional Lance, who was brought to tears in the green room at the realization of his lifelong dreams. “So happy to add you to our family. I’m thrilled. Congratulations, man.”
Lance to the 49ers was a Mystery Right up Until the Selection
Who the 49ers would choose with the third pick was one of the best kept and most heavily guarded secrets in the weeks leading up to draft night.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that almost no one outside of Lynch, head coach Kyle Shanahan and 49ers ownership knew definitively who the selection would be until NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced it. Not even the rest of the team’s coaching and scouting staffs were given access to the information before it was made public.
49ers did not tell their coaches or scouts their pick. They didn’t know the team was selecting Trey Lance until the pick was announced.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 30, 2021
After Lynch welcomed Lance to San Francisco, he passed the phone off to Shanahan who engaged in a playful back and forth with his new quarterback.
“You had a hunch for awhile,” said Shanahan, implying Lance expected to be the 49ers’ selection.
“Man, I didn’t know coach,” Lance responded. “You wouldn’t tell me nothin’.”
“We didn’t tell anybody man,” Shanahan responded. “I thought you could tell, though.”
“It was all worth it,” the 49ers head coach continued. “We’re so pumped. So pumped, man.”
49ers Future: What is Versus What Might Have Been
Shanahan told reporters following the selection of Lance that the NDSU signal caller had been the team’s top choice for a long while, despite an overwhelming majority of reports to the contrary from top NFL insiders.
However, when news reached 49ers management that Green Bay Packers quarterback and the reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers had grown unhappy with his franchise and might be available via trade, Shanahan couldn’t help himself.
“You’re talking about the MVP of our league last year,” the coach said at Thursday’s press conference. “When the MVP of the league might be available, and I didn’t know that, I’m just reading the ti leaves like everybody else and saying, ‘Hold on, is something going on here?’”
“Yeah, we inquired,” Shanahan continued.
More than just the inquiry by the 49ers, Rodgers reportedly wanted the Packers to accept a trade offer from San Francisco and firmly believed on Wednesday night that he’d be the next starting quarterback in the Bay Area.
But it was not to be. Green Bay wouldn’t let go of its star, and so the Bay Area has now unofficially become the “Trey Area,” a moniker dubbed by the 49ers official Twitter account Thursday.
Shanahan said that, despite missing out on Rodgers, the team is plenty happy having drafted a player they believe is their quarterback of the future.
“As we’ve said, we’ve been convicted and excited for a long, long time,” the coach explained. “So, we went right back to where we’ve been, and that’s really excited about adding Trey Lance to the 49ers.”