NFL News & Analysis

San Francisco 49ers officially move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, name Trey Lance the starter

October 3, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) passes the football against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the San Francisco 49ers have officially moved on from Jimmy Garoppolo, naming Trey Lance as the starting quarterback for 2022.

“We have moved on to Trey Lance.” Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday. “This is Trey's team.”

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The New Era in San Francisco

The Niners selected Trey Lance with the third overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

In his last full season as a starter at North Dakota State, Lance earned a 90.7 PFF grade. His 1.3% turnover-worthy play rate was third best among FCS and FBS QBs.

Lance appeared in five games last season, starting two. He completed 41-of-71 attempts (57.7%) for 603 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions but recorded more turnover-worthy plays (4) than big-time throws (3).

The 22-year-old added value as part of the ground game, adding 168 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. He averaged 3.44 yards after contact per rush attempt and moved the chains on eight of those carries.

Lance finished the season with a 59.9 PFF grade last season, 37th among the 54 quarterbacks who dropped back to pass at least 50 times.

PFF's Mike Renner called Lance a “rare physical specimen” during his pre-draft evaluation, adding that “Lance could do damage in a QB-run or play-action-heavy attack.”

There’s cautious optimism about Trey Lance within the 49ers’ organization, sources have indicated to PFF. The team believes he has the ability to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL but knows he’ll lack consistency in his first full season as a starter.

What next for Jimmy Garoppolo?

Drafted with the 62nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, Garoppolo has played 3,399 snaps in his eight-year NFL career.

He earned the highest single-season grade of his career (86.6) in 2017, his first season with San Francisco, but he has failed to grade higher than 80.0 ever since.

The veteran signal-caller has completed 1,040 of his 1,550 attempts (67.1%) for 12,810 yards, 75 touchdowns and 44 interceptions over his career. He has 43 big-time throws to 68 turnover-worthy plays over that span.

Since 2017, Garoppolo ranks 66th among 70 qualifying quarterbacks in average depth of target (7.6) yet ranks first among that same group of players in yards per attempt (8.3), which highlights just how effective the Niners offense was at getting playmakers open and in space.

Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday that he thinks Garoppolo would have been traded already if not for the shoulder surgery he underwent this offseason.


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