Who will be the San Francisco starting quarterback in Week 1? Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, he will tell you his starting quarterback is Jimmy Garoppolo ... right now. We still have four months and six days until a 49ers quarterback needs to line up behind center in a regular season game.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the odds for which quarterback will take the first snap for the 49ers in the 2021 season.
49ers QB Week 1 Odds
Jimmy Garoppolo -278
Trey Lance +220
Josh Rosen +3300
Nate Sudfeld +4000
Trey Lance +220
Right after the 49ers traded up to Pick No. 3, there’s no way I would have believed that Garoppolo would even be on the team this season. He has a hefty contract worth 27 million the team could dump, but they don’t appear to be willing to do so. That means they want Garoppolo around this season. Is it to be the starter for a year while Lance learns from the bench? Possibly.
But make no mistake, the 49ers gave up a lot to move up to Pick No. 3 to take Lance. They want Lance to be the starter when he is ready. The question is of course, when will he be reay? We do know that Lance has been working with quarterback instructor John Beck, who is friends with Shanahan and knows his system well.
Lance also worked in a similar system at North Dakota State. The Mercury Sun’s Dieter Kurtenbach believes Lance will be the starter sooner than later, writing:
A big reason the 49ers fell for Lance is that they won’t have to teach him the intricacies of playing quarterback in the Shanahan play-action offense — Lance was running a similar under-center, zone-blocking, play-action scheme at North Dakota State and his interviews with the Niners gave them the indication that he’s a quick study and prodigious mind.
If Lance isn’t ready, Garoppolo is going to be the starter, but if it’s close and another team is desperate to find a quarterback (I’m talking about you Houston), they could get a lot in return for Garoppolo. We know that Lance is going to open up the offense more than Garoppolo has and if Shanaahan believes his diverse abilities as a passer and runner will give his team an advantage, Lance is going to get his shot sooner than later.
I believe four months can get Lance ready to start and that Garoppolo isn’t special enough to hold off a competitor that can bring so much to the table.
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