The San Francisco 49ers thought enough of Trey Lance to select him with the third pick in the NFL Draft. In the months since, the North Dakota State product has emerged as the quarterback with the highest perceived ceiling among a crowded class, with both skill and presence being lauded with regularity from those usually judicious with their praise.
Lance saw his first meaningful action in San Francisco's preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs and wasted no time showcasing the type of electricity he's capable of injecting into an offense desperate for added spark via an 80-yard touchdown strike.
His complete ledger was a bit more complex as accuracy was an issue. Lance finished 5-for-14 on his 26 snaps — though it should be noted there were some drops sprinkled into that final line. There is undoubtably more work to be done before the franchise will feel comfortable turning over the keys. But such a reality feels inevitable, unless you're among the brave group of souls who believes Garoppolo can game-manage his way to a Super Bowl.
Which makes Marcellus Wiley bestowing the "One Play Trey" nickname upon the rookie even more perplexing. Here's Wiley on yesterday's Speak For Yourself, boldly proclaiming that Jimmy G has nothing to worry about.
Now, Wiley knows a lot more about football than I ever will. But there's simply no way this moniker or clip ages well. And if it does, then it's a major problem for the Niners who know deep down that they need a quarterback capable of winning the Super Bowl instead of simply not losing it.
Hyperbole runs rampant when there's precious little track record but as we sit here, Lance appears destined to be at least an above-average NFL quarterback. That's his floor. His ceiling? Perhaps higher than anyone selected in last year's draft.
It takes a special brand of confidence to bestow a moniker like this after someone has played 26 preseason snaps. Wiley must have really not liked what he saw in extremely limited action to go with it, knowing that it's something that could follow him around for the next decade-plus if Lance proves to be a special player. A more timid pundit would be worried about such a thing.