With questions swirling around 2020 starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s health and play on the field, the San Francisco 49ers made a pre-draft blockbuster deal with the Miami Dolphins to move up to the third spot in April’s NFL draft.
The 49ers chose North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with that pick, and that has sportsbooks speculating about a change in the huddle.
It’s an old-school camp battle for the Niners, with plenty of speculation about who will get the nod in Week 1 on September 12, on the road in Detroit.
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San Francisco 49ers Starting Quarterback Odds
Odds as of August 19 at [Sportsbook not available for your region]
Trey Lance Odds
North Dakota State product Trey Lance was one of the most exciting prospects to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. At six-foot-four and 226 pounds, he combines prototypical size with a rushing ability coveted by modern NFL offenses.
In his one full season at North Dakota State in 2019, Lance rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 2,786 passing yards, 28 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He played in only one game last year as North Dakota State’s season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The issue with Lance is his rawness as a prospect. While he was extremely efficient and effective in his time at North Dakota State, he attempted just 318 passes in his entire college career. To put that in perspective, 29 NFL quarterbacks attempted more than 318 passes just last season.
The 49ers may not feel that Lance is ready to play right away given how little football he actually played in college, but he did play in a zone-blocking, play-action scheme that is similar to what the 49ers employ – potentially increasing his likelihood of suiting up early.
However, the reports out of Niners camp are extremely positive about Lance with several reporters gushing about the young QB’s arm talent and playmaking ability.
In the team’s first preseason game, Lance took over from Garoppolo after the first drive and finished 5-for-14 for 128 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown pass.
How Lance performs in the next couple of preseason games will go a long way to determining whether head coach Kyle Shanahan deems him ready for a start in Week 1.
Jimmy Garoppolo Odds
Garoppolo was not particularly good last season. Before his season-ending ankle injury, he had seven touchdowns and five picks along with a 67 percent completion rate. Garoppolo’s game has always been built around high-percentage, low-depth-of-target throws and limiting turnovers.
And while he has accomplished that for the most part in his career, the 29-year-old veteran hasn’t exactly lived up to the five-year, $137.5-million contract given to him three years ago. Garoppolo has two seasons left on his hefty deal, with cap hits over $26 million both years (although the dead cap money is low).
There were plenty of rumors about Garoppolo being traded leading up to the draft with the writing on the wall that his eventual replacement was going to be picked by the team.
With just a couple of weeks to go until the start of the regular season, it’s safe to say Garoppolo is staying. But will it be as the starter or backup?
Jimmy G was 3-for-3 for 26 yards in his lone drive in Week 1 of the preseason.
In terms of San Francisco 49ers quarterback odds, the best bet has to be on Trey Lance as the starter.
Firstly, his odds are far more attractive than Garoppolo’s.
Secondly, the reports out of camp are unanimously positive about the young QB. If all we were hearing was how the player didn’t look ready or looked out of his element, things might be different.
But the feeling out of camp has essentially been that Lance is kicking Jimmy G’s butt. So it feels like there’s a pretty good chance he gets the start in Week 1 vs a bad Detroit Lions team.