Many 49ers fans were not happy with NBC’s Chris Simms for ranking Trey Lance 31st on his list of the top 40 quarterbacks in the NFL. In order to get to the bottom of Chris’s issues with Trey, I sat down with him for a deep dive.
One of the biggest comments people took issue with Chris’ original analysis on his podcast was about not seeing Lance’s reported football intelligence on the field. I asked Simms about that, considering all the responsibilities Lance had at the line of scrimmage in college.
“I’ve heard the things that you’re talking about with the 49ers and what they say about the brains and all that. I’m sure they’re right. I’m not going to disagree with Shanahan and Lynch, they know more of that than me.
But, that’s all pre-snap stuff. To me there’s a difference there. Okay great you gave him a few plays and he gets in the right check and all of that. I’m not worried about that, I know he can do that. I know that. I always knew he could do that. What I’m worried about is can he get off the first receiver and get to the second and third one quick enough or is he going to stand on that firs tone forever and just go, ‘Wait he’s gonna be open I’m gonna throw it as hard as I can in this window. ‘ It’s that you did not see at North Dakota State that is still a question to me. Again, this is a guy that never ran the two minute drill in college. There was a lot of games as you saw where he threw the ball 15, 16 times and it was the most basic of throwing plays.
So it’s not the pre-snap and all that, I get it. It’s the, now the snap has gone and is he going to be able to process all the information, play within the pocket, make the appropriate throw, and put it all together the right way there. That’s the part I still question. ”
Ultimately, what it came down to for Chris was a lack of evidence with Trey Lance. There simply weren’t enough examples on film that Trey could go through reads or consistently put the ball on receivers in a position to maximize yards after the catch.
However, that is not to say that Simms does not think Lance can do it. The potential for Lance to be a star is there, and Chris said this is the year Lance should be the starter in order to refine those skills.
Jimmy Garoppolo is better than Trey Lance right now, but that does not mean he’s the best guy for your team, or the best for the ultimate potential of your team, when it’s all said and done. I think that’s what they see in San Francisco, and that’s what they’re looking at.
They’re gonna go, ‘His arm, his athletic ability is going to give us some different schematical advantages, it’s going to open up the field a little bit. Yeah we might miss some completions and things we do not like and damn we wish he was a little bit better. ‘ But that’s why you got to throw him out there and just hope he can get better at that to where we get to December and we start to go, ‘Woah, Trey Lance, on the money. Perfect throw, good decision. ‘ Then you add the Shanahan Specials and we go, ‘Oh, sh * t, the 49ers are about to win the Super Bowl. ‘”
I admit I’m sensitive when it comes to Trey. I want him to succeed. He’s the quarterback of the team that I bleed for, and that gave up a ton to draft him. That said, there are things Trey needs to work on, and Chris did a good job of laying those out for everyone during the interview.
If you watch it on the Niners Nation YouTube pagehere are the time codes, including a breakdown of Lance’s throwing motion that might be of interest:
– How Chris evaluates each quarterback (1:14)
– The positives with Trey Lance: Arm strength (2:59)
– Lance wants to be a passer before a runner (4:56)
– Where Lance struggles from a diagnostic standpoint (6:02)
– Could Lance’s inaccuracy come from not seeing open guys fast enough? (9:00)
– One problem with the type of passes Lance throws (10:11)
– Lance has issues to work out mechanically (11:21)
– Why Trey Lance should be the 49ers’ starter this year (12:55)
– Why aren’t last year’s rookies getting questioned like Lance is? (13:48)
– What’s one issue Lance has that’s most likely to be fixed this year? (17:06)
– Lance’s throwing motion is very concerning (18:38)