RG3: Lance more talented than Jimmy, can get 49ers over hump


Of the five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Robert Griffin III predicts Mac Jones has the best chance to win a Super Bowl ring -- but with an asterisk.

That's because Griffin sees untapped potential in 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, who didn't get "serious playing time" as a rookie, appearing in six games and starting two while sitting behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

With everything indicating Lance will be the 49ers' starter under center this upcoming season, as Garoppolo reportedly is expected to be traded by the end of July, Griffin might have to redo his rankings because of what the North Dakota State product brings to the team compared to his predecessor.

"What I do know is that he’s a more talented quarterback than Jimmy Garoppolo," Griffin told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco on "49ers Talk." "He’s more athletic than Jimmy Garoppolo. And has a stronger arm than Jimmy Garoppolo."

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in Washington for Griffin's first two seasons in the league, including his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2012 when he threw for 3,200 yards and rushed for another 815.

Griffin knows firsthand what improved athleticism at quarterback can bring to a Shanahan offense. It might just have been the missing piece to the 49ers' recent deep postseason runs that ultimately fell short, including last year in the NFC Championship Game.

"Kyle has had his most success – not his most excitement – with guys like Matt Ryan and Jimmy Garoppolo, who you know are going to run the right play and put the onus on the coach to have the system work," Griffin said. "If it doesn’t work, those guys are throwing the ball away. They’re moving onto the next down.

RELATED: Why trading Jimmy G to Seattle could be tricky for 49ers

"Guys like myself and Trey Lance, our talent takes over at times when the play is not there and you can make the coach right. I think that is what’s going to take the Niners over the hump and give them the opportunity to win the Super Bowl, not just get to the Super Bowl."

As for a specific timeline on when the 49ers will be hanging banners at Levi's Stadium, Griffin wouldn't go that far.

"I don’t know when that’s going to happen," Griffin said. "Because we’re not going to know the truth about who Trey Lance is for another two or three years."

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us