The 49ers gave up a ton to trade up for Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft but franchise great Joe Montana thinks they might’ve got the wrong guy.
Joe Montana knows a thing or two about succeeding at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. The Hall-of-Famer led the franchise to four Super Bowl victories over his time there. But now he has an eye on their current quarterback situation with Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.
As the 49ers have been frustratingly middling over the first half of the 2021 season and Garoppolo drawing the ire of many fans, many people are ready to hand the ball and the keys to the team to Lance, who San Francisco traded up for in the 2021 NFL Draft, making him the third quarterback off the board after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson.
However, if Montana were running the show, the legendary quarterback said he would’ve gone a different route with that pick. Namely, he would’ve taken Mac Jones over Trey Lance, as he said on College Football Live:
Joe Montana on College Football Live: “I would have taken Mac if I was the 49ers… I think it’s funny, Alabama reminds me of the old USC the way they are producing quarterbacks”
More high praise and more recruiting material for @AlabamaFTBL
— Brett Greenberg (@74Talk) November 2, 2021
Joe Montana would’ve drafted Mac Jones over Trey Lance for the 49ers
Considering that Mac Jones beat out veteran Cam Newton to win the Patriots starting quarterback job in the preseason while Lance remains second on the depth chart, there is some reasoning to Montana’s take.
Even with Jones performing quite well, though, there are many that still question the ceiling of the Alabama product, wondering if he can ever be anything more than good.
Lance, on the other hand, was a prospect whose entire draft stock was based on his potential. With just one full season starting at North Dakota State, he showcased a tremendous set of tools but lacked the polish a player like Jones possesses. But if he were to reach his ceiling, it could be something truly special.
This isn’t to say that Montana or the 49ers are right or wrong, to be sure. Instead, it simply seems like we might be looking at a difference of philosophy when drafting quarterbacks between the team and one of the franchise legends.