Why Riddick picks 49ers' Lance as ‘long shot' MVP winner


The 49ers are entering a new era heading into the 2022 season as there is no quarterback controversy: Trey Lance is the starter over Jimmy Garoppolo. 

With the 22-year-old entrenched as the signal caller in San Francisco, many analysts are predicting how Lance's first year as a starting quarterback will go this season. 

Despite the QB's inexperience, ESPN's Louis Riddick has set the bar high with his opinion on what Lance will produce in 2022. During Thursday's edition of "First Take," Riddick stated that the 49ers starter is his long shot at winning the MVP. 

"We love to pick dark horses, right? We love to pick long shots," Riddick said. "I pick Trey Lance as my long shot to win the MVP this year in a manner in which the same way I said it about Patrick Mahomes when he first burst onto the scene in 2018 ..." 

"It may start slow, but this kid is a unique, unique individual in the way he is wired and the athletic ability that he possesses. Do not bet against him. I think he's going to surprise some people."

San Francisco paid a significant price for Lance by sending three first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins to leap from the No. 12 to No. 3 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

RELATED: 49ers' Emmanuel Moseley, Azeez Al-Shaair see notable Trey Lance development

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan certainly saw something in Lance to take him ahead of players Justin Fields and Mac Jones, much like Reddick does by saying the young signal caller could be in the MVP discussion this season. 

That MVP potential is why the 49ers are ready to hand Lance the keys to the franchise and move on Garoppolo, who helped lead the team to Super Bowl LIV in 2019 and the NFC Championship Game last season but hasn't been able to get them over the hump.

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