The quarterback question in San Francisco this year has primarily been about whether Brock Purdy or Trey Lance is more likely to be the Week One starter. But to hear coach Kyle Shanahan tell it, the 49ers have three good quarterbacks.
Shanahan said today that Sam Darnold is an elite passer and still very much the talented quarterback who was the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
“Sam’s an unbelievable thrower. He was born to do that,” Shanahan said, via David Lombardi of TheAthletic.com. “I truly see Sam talent-wise as a top pick in the draft, just like he was. You watch his whole career and there’s no reason to think differently. He hasn’t been in the best situations, so we’re glad to have him here. And I’m so glad he wanted to come here. He could’ve gone to a lot of different situations and probably made a lot more money.”
Shanahan said that Purdy currently deserves to be considered the top quarterback on the depth chart if healthy because of what he has accomplished, but Shanahan also believes that both Lance and Darnold are capable of accomplishing a lot if given the right opportunity.
“I do believe we have three quarterbacks talent-wise who are all capable of being franchise-like quarterbacks,” Shanahan said. “But that’s just capable . . . Brock’s done that in his eight [starts]. And we have two other guys on our roster who we strongly believe can do that also.”
If Purdy’s elbow isn’t fully healed in time for him to play Week One, Shanahan sounds like he’d be open to giving Darnold the start.