Before Trey Lance was slinging passes to Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk for the San Francisco 49ers, he was the dazzling dual-threat quarterback for North Dakota State, where he led the Bison to a 19-0 record. While that same success hasn’t followed Lance to the pros, largely thanks to a string of ugly injuries limiting him to just eight professional appearances, one of his collegiate wide receivers, Christian Watson, still believes his Bison quarterback has all of the tools to become a successful NFL quarterback, as he detailed during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show.
“I’ve got 100 percent confidence in Trey, not just because I played with him,” Watson told Eisen via 49ers Webzone. “But I would say because I played with him, I know the type of man he is, the type of player he is, and what he’s capable of. I think that all he needs is … just the opportunity for him. He needs that experience. He needs to just go out there and be given that time to adjust to the league and what it takes.
“I think that he has everything that it takes. He just needs to go out there and show everybody.”
Watson would know a thing or two about playing with a top-tier NFL quarterback, as he spent his rookie season playing wide receiver alongside Aaron Rodgers as a member of the Green Bay Packers. If he believes that Lance could play at a similar level as Rodgers with some experience, Niners fans should be very excited indeed.
Christian Watson has long been a Trey Lance Fan
At the 2022 NFL draft combine, Watson was asked what it was like to play with Lance during their shared tenure in Fargo by Jordan Elliott of the Niners Nation and second-year wide receiver let it be known that he was a huge fan of the Minnesota-born quarterback.
“As a leader, I’d just describe Trey Lance as that guy,” Watson said. “He’s a dude in everything that he does on and off the field. He’s a student of the game. Everything he does is him trying to get better at being a man and being a football player. So Trey Lance is a dude.”
Once again, Watson noted Lance’s work ethic and how that comes into his ability to grow as a football player. Fortunately, with Brock Purdy recovering from UCL surgery and Sam Darnold signed on as the team’s third quarterback, Lance will have a chance to put his preparation to use in a good old-fashioned quarterback competition, something Watson is very excited to see.
Watson Loves the San Francisco 49ers’ QB Competition
Further discussing Lance’s work ethic with Eisen, including a comment the 22-year-old quarterback made about wanting to compete with Purdy this summer, Watson voiced his appreciation for his former teammate’s willingness not just be handed a starting spot.
“For me, I love it. I love the competitiveness,” Watson told Eisen. “For me, I think that’s the mindset I’ll have going in every single year, whether I’m a second-year guy, a first-year guy, or a seasoned veteran. What builds people up the most in this league is the competition and being open to that competition. Contentness isn’t really going to get you anywhere in this league. If you’re happy where you’re at, then I personally believe you’re not going anywhere.
“So I think that competitiveness is what’s going to drive him and turn him into the player that I know he’s capable of being.”
Will Lance be able to make the most of this opportunity and finally make good on John Lynch’s decision to trade up to select him third overall? Or will fans see Darnold, or maybe even Purdy under center come Week 1 and watch as Lance trade rumors heat up once more around the trade deadline? Everyone will find out soon enough.