How Trey Lance has impressed 49ers GM John Lynch virtually so far

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How Lance has impressed 49ers GM Lynch virtually so far originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

John Lynch would have preferred to sit down with Trey Lance and develop a relationship with the quarterback before the 49ers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but COVID-19 limited almost all of their communication to virtual video conferencing.

"The tougher thing this year, Dan, is getting to know the person, because you're doing it like this, over Zoom," Lynch said on "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz" on Thursday. "I like to be able to feel people, I like to be in a room with them and feel their grit, feel their competitiveness. You could on Zoom, you could talk football.

"You can sit there and watch a game with Trey, and have him talk through a game, and at every step of the way, we were just more and more impressed with his leadership, his innate ability to make those around him better, he's highly, highly intelligent. Talked about the film where it starts, and then the versatility he could add to our offense."

Lance had the most limited selection of game tape of any of the five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the draft, forcing evaluators like Lynch to primarily rely on meetings, measurables and his pro days at North Dakota State to scout Lance.

RELATED: 49ers' offseason scorecard: Signings, departures, draft picks

The 49ers made a determination that the 2021 class offered a prime opportunity to invest long-term in the quarterback position, a decision inspired by Jimmy Garoppolo's lengthy injury history during his time with the organization.

Unlike the situations of the other four teams that chose to draft a quarterback in the first round, the 49ers have an incumbent QB who is capable of leading a team to the Super Bowl. Lance will be thrown into the fire whenever he is ready, but Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have the luxury of allowing the rookie to soak up as much knowledge and get as many practice repetitions as he needs before turning over the reins to the 49ers' offense.

Ultimately, Lynch was impressed enough by the virtual evaluation and eventually meeting Lance and his family in person to make him the next face of the franchise for the 49ers.

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