Kyle Shanahan Admits Draft Trade For Trey Lance Was A Mistake

Videos by OutKick

Rarely do we see NFL head coaches admit that they did something wrong. So you can understand why San Francisco 49ers fans were taken aback when Kyle Shanahan admitted this past week that the team blew it by trading up to get quarterback Trey Lance in 2021, only to have him essentially do… nothing.

“When you move up and it doesn’t work out, that’s definitely a mistake,” the sixth-year Niners coach told KNBR’s Toldbert & Ratto. “But we did like our decisions when we looked into the two veterans that were available, and we didn’t get that and we knew what way we were going to have to go two years from then. We knew we needed to go up and get a quarterback at that time.”

Trey Lance had his share of injuries while playing for the 49ers in two seasons. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)


In 2021, the 49ers sent three first-round picks, as well as a 2022 third-round pick in order to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 in the draft to get Lance, who at the time was a North Dakota State star.

But like many athletes when they make that leap from college to the pros, it didn’t work out. Instead, the Niners’ fan base saw their team essentially be in a stalemate with a quarterback that couldn’t cut it.


The biggest issue with Lance wasn’t that he was bad per say, it was that the injury gods wouldn’t let him play.

In just two seasons Lance suffered a sprained knee, a throwing hand injury, and a season-ending ankle injury that required two surgeries. In total, Lance started four games in two seasons where he went 2-2 with 797 passing yards, 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Not terrible, but not what the 49ers needed as they were looking for Jimmy Garoppolo’s heir.


“It didn’t work exactly the way all of us wanted it to and once you realize that it’s time to move on, and we did for us and we did for him, and I think we’re both in a much better position now,” Shanahan continued.

With Lance being traded to the Dallas Cowboys this preseason – after being designated the third starter behind Brock Purdy and Sam Darnold – we’ll know soon if Shanahan and the 49ers are really in “a much better position.” All eyes will be on Purdy to see if last season’s NFC Championship run was just a fluke, or if Shanahan and the 49ers have found their quarterback.

The 49ers open their season in Pittsburgh next Sunday.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

Leave a Reply