The San Francisco 49ers have questions to answer at quarterback ahead of the 2023 season. The most important of those questions is, of course, who is going to start? For head coach Kyle Shanahan, this is a good problem to have.
That’s because Shanahan believes that the 49ers have three quarterbacks who are all capable of being franchise quarterbacks on the roster.
“I do believe we have 3 quarterbacks talent-wise who are all capable of being franchise-like quarterbacks … Brock’s done that in his 8,” Kyle Shanahan said. “And we have 2 other guys on our roster who we strongly believe can do that also.”
Brock Purdy and Trey Lance are the two most notable quarterbacks on the roster.
Last season, Purdy led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. Despite being Mr. Irrelevant, Purdy got playing time due to injuries and played well when he got his opportunity. However, an injury in the NFC Championship Game to his elbow could set his career back.
Trey Lance was the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the 49ers traded multiple first round picks for that pick. Since then, he’s struggled to get on the field, playing in just eight games in his first two seasons. Now, the 49ers have dealt with trade rumors surrounding him.
It makes sense why Kyle Shanahan thinks these two are franchise quarterbacks. What’s less clear is why he included Sam Darnold but not Brandon Allen, both of whom are also on the roster.
Yes, Darnold was drafted by the New York Jets to be a franchise quarterback but that clearly hasn’t worked out and including him here feels like Shanahan is being overly optimistic about his third string quarterback.
Kyle Shanahan is relieved San Francisco won’t open 2023 against the Eagles
There was some speculation before the NFL’s schedule release that San Francisco would open against the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFC Championship rematch. However, with questions about who will play quarterback, that would be a tough matchup.
Because of this, Kyle Shanahan was happy not to draw the Eagles to open the season.
“I am glad we’re not playing Philly Week One,” Shanahan recently said.
He explained that it’s not that he’s afraid of the Eagles. Instead, he wants to be at full strength. Right now, Purdy’s health is still up in the air.
“I want to play them at a better time. [And] I want to make sure our whole team is right there. . . . We felt we didn’t get to do it last time, and I’m ready to go back again.”