Comparing Trey Lance and Brock Purdy

Trey Lance and Brock Purdy have each played 262 snaps at quarterback for the 49ers.

Here are their numbers.

Trey Lance (Passing): 56-102, 54.9%, 797 yards, 5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 33 first downs, 6 sacks, (-24 yards), 6.57 yards after catch/completion, 7.66 air yards per completion.

(Rushing): 54 attempts, 235 yards, 1 touchdown, 15 first downs

(Third down conversions): 19-52, 36.5%

Notes: Trey Lance was the third player selected in the 2021 draft. During his collegiate career at North Dakota State, he threw 318 passes and ran the ball 192 times in 19 games. San Francisco used three first round picks to acquire him along with a third 2022 third round pick.

Lance lost the first start of his career in week five of 2021 against the Arizona Cardinals. He bounced back in his second start, a must-win week 17 contest against the Houston Texans.  

There was no George Kittle in three of Lance’s four starts and Christian McCaffrey was not a member of the 49ers.

Brock Purdy (Passing): 77-115, 67%, 912 yards, 8 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 41 first downs, 7 sacks, (-48 yards), 5.7 yards after catch/completion, 6.1 air yards per completion.

(Rushing): 16 attempts, 9 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 first downs

(Third down conversions): 23-50, 46%

Notes: Brock Purdy was the taken with the 262nd and final pick in the 2022 draft. During his four seasons at Iowa State, Purdy threw 1,467 passes and ran the ball 365 times in 48 games.

After starting the season third on the depth chart Purdy became the backup after Lance was lost for the year with an ankle injury. He moved into the starting lineup after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a foot injury on the 49ers opening series against Miami.

Despite losing Deebo Samuel just before halftime against Tampa Bay, Purdy helped lead the 49ers to the NFC West Championship the following week with a win in Seattle. The victory over the Seahawks was only the third for San Francisco in Seattle since 2010.

Playing with George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey, Purdy became the first quarterback since Kurt Warner to win his first three NFL starts and throw 2-or-more touchdown passes in each game.

This article has 58 Comments

    1. Well said Dr. J. Let’s keep them both and let the best man win. There are way worse things than having two good young QB’s with affordable contracts.

  1. I am not totally sold on Purdy yet. I want to see what he can do in the playoffs. As much as I was a Lance backer before the draft he has not won me over. I am just glad that we will have both of them competing next year. I also hope JG can get back by the playoffs. We need a better backup than Johnson and insurance in case the playoffs prove to big for Purdy and JG needs to come in. I have to admit that part of me would love to see JG forced into a playoff game where he saves the 49ers, just to see G. Cohn’s head explode.

    1. You just made me laugh with the Cohn observation, Old Coach. Cohn is a piece of work, isn’t he. Just like his dad in so many ways.

    2. Im going to have to agree with this sentiment about Cohn and Purdy for that matter.Purdy hasnt sold me yet either,He reminds me of Jimmy pre acl injury just shorter and a little more twitchy,maybe a weaker arm also.

  2. Every time Trey Lance gets the ball, he looks bewildered. The guy is completely overwhelmed. Purdy looks like a savvy and cool as a cucumber NFL veteran. The only way Lance wins the QB competition in pre-season next year is if Shanahan and Lynch are doubling down on a bad decision to part with endless first round picks for a deer in the headlights QB.

    1. Every time Trey Lance gets the ball, he looks bewildered.
      He is a 3rd round pick with the weight of the the 49ers franchise on his shoulders.

      Purdy looks like a savvy and cool as a cucumber NFL veteran
      He has nothing to lose,

      1. That is the biggest cop-out I have ever read. Alex Smith is long gone, it’s time for fans to stop making excuses for failure to perform. Trevor Lawrence has the weight of the world on his shoulders as the first overall pick. He’s looking like a future star and he looks like he belongs. Your logic is completely illogical. Nick Bosa should have played awful too by your logic, but he lit it up from day 1. I could go on an on. There are only a hundred ex’s that contradict your analogy. How about just holding Trey Lance accountable? How about recognizing that under similar circumstances, he couldn’t carry Brock Purdy’s jock strap?

      2. Lance is a first round pick that they gave up 3 first round and one third round pick to get

      3. What?? Purdy had everything to lose. If he messed up in first couple starts, he would be looking for a job in CFL next year. His NFL career was on the line and he was so composed in every game he played.

  3. I get 2 different feelings when I watch both Qbs. Trey I am waiting to see what happens; with BP its happening. BP is too good to be true so far. Its a good problem to have for 49er fans. Us 49ers are in great shape moving forward

  4. The numbers are cool, but unnecessary. Anyone who actually watches football and has watched each of their games can see the difference in the two. I love the team, so I was prepared to ride with Trey. But I will never understand what Shanahan and Lynch were thinking. Every single D-1 university in the nation passed on him and told him he wasn’t a quarterback. The one season of college film on Lance REINFORCES that, not dispels it. Idk where this myth came from that he progressed and showed something different in college. At NDSU, overall he looked like an inaccurate quarterback with good touch on the deep ball who took advantage of a lower level of college to run over guys. Now that he’s found out that he’s not fast enough to run around anyone and not big enough to run over anyone in the NFL what’s left? I wish the best for him, but he just doesn’t look like an NFL quarterback.

    1. I have to agree with Listener. I thought that before his second-year injury he was inaccurate and below-par for a starter. Niners really blew it on Trey’s drafting, but they may be bailed out by Brock. Believe me, they are praying to be saved by Brock though they won’t say so in public.

      1. Allie,
        I believe the 49ers bailed themselves out by being the only team in the entire NFL willing to use a draft pick on Purdy.

    2. What did all the D-1 schhols think of Josh Allen? And didn’t every single NFL team decide Purdy wasn’t an NFL caliber QB 6-7 times over? I’m not suggesting Lance will or won’t be a good NFL QB, but I think there are plenty of instances where college football programs and NFL teams got it pretty wrong. In my opinion, Lance’s future is far from being determined at this point.

      1. The point is, we don’t know if a team got it wrong until the player actually starts playing for the team that drafted them. Which Trey has done. And who has he inspired since then? Who is clamoring to trade for him if we go all-in with Purdy? Which of his teammates or coaches have spoken up and said this is still Trey’s team? Bottom line is, Josh Allen proved he was better than his draft status. Brock Purdy proved he is WAAAY better than his draft status. Trey Lance has proven….uh…er…um…..that he is injury prone, inconsistent, athletic but not elusive, and has a strong arm but has little instinct. Josh Allen proved the opposite of all those points once he played for the team that drafted him. Trey Lance has only proven that he might be a bust and that there are lots of question marks. I’m all in with Brock Purdy. He’s not Montana, but he sure reminds me of him more than any other 49ers QB since Montana.

    3. Listener A is spot on in his assessment…let’s face it, the hoopla about Trey Lance wasn’t about his chart busting stats from was about the media hype..a lot of which came from Grant Cohn…when a wait and see perspective should have been the option, the media went the other way, and anointed Lance as the savior of a faltering franchise and the new face of the 49ers….

    4. Every single D-1 University that passed on him wont schedule a game with NDSU during preseason. Every single D-1 University that passed on him and scheduled a game with NDSU got beat by NDSU including Big10 Champion Iowa HawkEyes.

      At NDSU, overall he looked like an inaccurate quarterback with good touch on the deep ball
      Jalen Hurts had accuracy issues, Josh Allen had accuracy issues.

  5. Despite the stats, love to know how many on this blog actually believe — truly believe — that Purdy can take the Niners to the Super Bowl. Just like Old Coach, it is just so difficult for me to see that happening.

    1. For what it’s worth, I believe he can. You said take us there. Winning it is another story. Stronger matchups. I think he gives us the best chance, though. The kid’s for real and it looks like all his receivers will be healthy. Knock on wood.

      1. If the OL stays healthy i can see Purdy go all the way. He has made mistakes (like all QBs do) but none of them was game changing. The thing that counts is experience. Purdy has played a lot since HS and if he has JG as a backup and support, I can definitely see a trophy!
        He’s only going to get better.

    2. I truly believe with all my head and heart that Purdy can not only take us to the SB, but win us one as well. Moreso than Jimmy G, and a thousand times more so than Trade Lance.

      1. I agree with Shemp. Brock Purdy was drafted because the qp staff singled him out. We don’t know anything about Trey Lance yet even though its already been 2 years and 3 1st round DPs to make the pick. Drafting TL may have been a bit of a impulsive move with a lot of pressure to get it right. Drafting BP was the opposite. BP has conviction. I don’t see that as much with TL.

      2. I hope Trey he asks to be traded or released and plays for a coach that’s wants him and shuts all the haters up. If I was Trey I would not be waisting my time as the 3rd pick in the draft with Kyle. Go play for a coach that’s wants him and Trey will do great. He should not waist his time with with Kyle. Haven’t you heard of prospects in MLB? A Rod was one and became one of the best players. Trey has talent but prejudice people won’t give him a chance!

        1. Prejudiced people? No…points of fact…you seem to have fallen for the media hype about Lance…Purdy started 4 years at a Div 1 school..Lance started 1 year at a Div 2 school…the competition levels are markedly different, as is the experience between the two…there’s no prejudice here, though many people hope and believe it to be the case….Purdy came in with the Mr Irrelevant tag on him, and Lance comes in as a high draft choice who was given super star status by the Bay Area media from day one…which has many people making claims that he’s somehow getting hosed by Kyle and the 9ers… if Lance is as good as many believe him to be, then he should have no problem winning the starting job in TC next summer…right now, Purdy is leading the team…enjoy the ride

        2. You should be the agent for both Zach Wilson and Trey Lance. Or their public relations manager. And did you play the race card too? Not sure, but if you did, that’s preposterous.

    3. Well we know Jimmy can’t win a Super Bowl, or any playoff game without everyone else doing the heavy liftings. So Purdy is our best hope right now.

  6. I had hopes for Trey when he was first drafted, and was encouraged the first time he came onto the field in his rookie year. I had hopes again early in 2022, but thought he still looked pretty shaky, ready to dart at the slightest impulse, and then he went down. JG came in, and without one minute of preseason, looked better than Trey did, who’d had most of the reps. Of course, then Jimmy G went down, and Brock Purdy came in. Now, this is a guy that was considered “Mr. Irrelevant,” but he showed enough in pre-season for the coaching staff to keep over Nate Sudfeld, a five year journeyman. Brock has been all of the things, so far, that Shanahan and Lynch were hoping for, in their wildest dreams. I don’t see Trey as being a viable backup, and I’m not even sure that Jimmy G will stick around for 2023. We might just see BP become the defacto starter with a “Baker Mayfield” type of backup. That would be my guess.

    1. Jimmy is gone his money will go to Bosa. He will get starter money from some team and the niners just cant afford him

  7. Crazy that even with the low completion percentage and without Kittle and McCaffery, Lance has more combined yardage and more first downs (runs and passes). Brock looks really elusive too so I was surprised to see Lance has 1 less sack. Is it possible that with experience he could reach 65% completions and be the more complete weapon?

    1. Yes, Lance never got to play with all the toys like Purdy has. I bet if Purdy had started the season as the starter he wouldn’t have looked so hot either. Even when Jimmy started, those first few games saw the Niners struggling to actually put points on the board. It wasn’t till CMC came on board that the offense finally started to look good.

  8. It all starts and ends with Shanahan! He alters the play calling dependant on the QB. He needs to simplify the calls for Lance and develop him as apasser, the legs and improvisation it’s something you can’t teach or learn and it comes naturaly with Lance. He dials too many runs for Lance, needs to give him easy, high proficiency passing plays ( you have McCaffrey on check downs, can turn 1yard to 10 ) Shanahan feels the pressure of giving so much draft capital for a project QB that can be amazing on the long run or can be adisaster if he’s not patient enough. We as the Faithfull, want to win NOW!! Maybe we have to wait a little longer and be the Pats of the 20’s…

    1. Lance is not a running QB. He is a QB that can run, but all he does is run straight ahead and smash into a pile for minimal gain and sometimes get injured as a bonus. He’s not elusive, he lacks instincts, and he doesn’t have acceleration skills. Purdy has all 3 of those things moreso than Lance, despite being the lesser athlete.

  9. Not casting any shade on Purdy, but he came into an almost perfect situation.
    Trey Lance had not made a splash in his first couple of games, but who did?
    There were still some big questions regarding the Oline with its young players and how McGlinchey would look after an injury.

    It wasn’t until after the KC game that the tide changed for the team.
    The defense and the offense got shocked back to their preseason position of becoming one of the top teams.
    JG was playing at his optimum before his injury. When Purdy came in, the table was already set for him to succeed.

    He’s done a great job, but Trey might have been successful as well had he not got injured.
    I will wait until next August before crowning Purdy as the 2023 starter.

    1. I heard these same excuses year after year with Alex Smith. Either you play well or you don’t. Trey had the entire offseason and the prior season as a red-shirt and still couldn’t look like he belonged. Purdy had absolutely nothing and he showed from the get go that he belongs and despite everyone waiting for him to come down to earth, he hasn’t yet. The kid keeps producing, no matter how much game tape other teams have on him.

      1. The 49ers looked like a team still in preseason mode early on. No one was in top playing form.

        All I want to see come next August is Lance given an equal amount of time in TC.
        If he loses out to Purdy, so be it. But there’s no way I see Shanahan handing Purdy the 2023 starting job until then.
        Trey has not had enough time to prove if he’s the starter or not.

      2. “I heard these same excuses year after year with Alex Smith.”

        How many “year after year’s” has Lance played?
        You’re comparing him to A. Smith who played several years with the 49ers. That’s a big reach.

        1. It’s the excuse making that I’m referring to. Whenever we have someone that we are highly vested in that should be producing but isn’t, rather than calling a spade a spade, we instead start the excuse machine. I assume all fans do that, but I can only speak to 49ers fans. I prefer to just call it like it is. The bottom line is Trey should have played better than he has in his limited opportunities. Maybe he will be great, but the 49ers QB he reminds me most of so far is Jim Druckenmiller. An athlete playing QB instead of a QB who is an athlete. Not saying he will flame out like Druck. I’m sure he won’t. But that’s who he reminds me of.

      3. Yikes! Who is the Milwaukee Bucs best player? If you don’t know look him up, he was way more raw than Trey Lance coming in to the league now he’s one of the best NBA players we have ever seen. Why? Because the organization was patient and had foresight and believed in him. I guarantee you with time and belief in Lance he would be the Niners best option.
        I must say there are not too many people that know how to win, the ones that do get the big picture and can see a jewel that’s in front of them. I know 100% Trey is a jewel, that’s why I usually win when I do things. Not bragging, but I know what’s in front of me and most people don’t know the jewels that are in front of them. Ask the Niners in 2017 when they passed on Patrick Mahomes and drafted CJ in the later rounds.

  10. I wouldn’t be mad at the Trey Lance pick if they would have stayed and picked him at number 12, but giving away the three first round picks is what is infuriating if it doesn’t work out. He only played 1 complete season at North Dakota State (D-1 School), there is no way other teams were looking to draft him any higher than 12 just based of 1 good season. He is way too much of a raw project and he is inaccurate. If he was accurate I would have hope, but the fact that he isn’t, can’t read defenses yet, I believe is the reason Shanahan runs him like a fullback instead of letting him pass.

  11. I think comparing the early season games with Lance and the later season games with Garoppolo and Purdy is unfair. I think the entire offense as a unit was still getting it’s bearings and figuring things out….especially the offensive line. I think the offensive unit as a whole and the play calling has significantly improved since the early part of the season. So I do not believe all of that is solely due to the change in quarterback. The offensive improvements are not solely on the play of the quarterback….but yes Lance does deserve some of the blame for the early season offensive woes but certainly not all of it….and by the same token I think Jimmy and especially Purdy have benefited from the offensive unit as a whole improving

  12. I was at that game in Chicago between the 49ers and Bears, and it was the worst possible weather conditions to start the season for a young QB. Not only with the rain, but the wind also. So the play calling had to account for the weather & a young QB without a lot of playing experience. Plus Chicago had a new coaching staff (i.e. new defensive/offensive coordinator). it’s hard to play the first game of the season against a new coaching staff because you don’t have any good film to study their system & tendencies. Plus the interior offensive line was new & had a huge question mark, the RT was coming back from missing the last two preseason games because of a minor setback from offseason surgery. Plus Kittle (the best security blanket a young QB could have) didn’t play & MCM wasn’t on the team. All those factors along with Tray being raw contributed to Lance having a terrible start to the season.

    When Purdy came into the Kansas City game, he did not look like a world beater like he did when he entered the Miami game. The difference was when he entered the KC game, he was still learning the offense & had only been practicing against the 1st team defense for 4 weeks. By the time he came in during the Miami game, he had a better grasp of the offense and had been practicing for the past 10 weeks against a much improved 1st team defense. Plus by the Miami game, MCM was on the team & had a better grasp of the offense having been in it for 7 weeks by that point. Plus the defense was/is playing so much better that it was earlier in the season. All those factors along with Purdy not being raw because of his college experience has helped Purdy do as well as he’s doing.

    I love how Purdy is playing, yet I can’t ignore the conditions in that 1st game in Chicago that led to Lance looking so terrible. The circumstances in the game against Chicago didn’t allow for Lance to show what, if any, growth came from his offseason training. The second game of the season against Seattle, Trey & the offense was looking a little better until his injury early in the game. Yes, Lance is VERY raw. but to say things like he can’t read defenses & things like that is contrary to comments Steve Young made about Lance. He said, on air, that he knows that Lance can read defenses and that he can process the information quickly, what we have to see is if he can deliver the ball. That is a legitimate question, but not a question that any of us can say has been definitively answered. None of us can say definitively that his accuracy wouldn’t have improved as the season went on and he got more reps. These are not excuses, these are facts.

    None of us can honestly deny that by the time Purdy came in the Miami game, like AES said, he walked into a near perfect situation. I am rooting for Purdy to take us all the way to a Super Bowl victory this year. But I can root for Purdy without throwing shade at Lance. Lance has a great work ethic & potential that lends itself to developing into a very good if not great QB. Plus, both Lance and Purdy are on rookie contracts, so they’re not a burden to the team’s salary cap. We don’t have to get rid of either one of them no time soon. Which means we can allow Purdy to continue to ball out of his mind AND allow Lance to continue to develop. This is not an either or situation. Best case scenario, Purdy is legit and continue to lead us to postseason glory AND Lance develops into a Bonafide starter and we have trade bait or worst case scenario, Lance doesn’t develop into a bonafide starter & we release him AND Purdy is legit and continue to lead us to postseason glory. Either way, this is potentially a win win situation. So how about we just enjoy the ride.

    1. I like your comments about Lance. Excluding the Chicago game, I think the more he played, the better he got, which stands to reason for a qb with such little college experience. Imo, that and his accuracy are going to be the issues when he competes against Purdy, who is known for his accuracy and whose experience continues to grow.

  13. I truly detest the offensive design Shanahan created for Trey Lance. Running your QB up the gut multiple times a game is a recipe for disaster. The 49er Trey Lance offense is not the same as the 49er Brock Purdy offense. Put Trey Lance in the Brock Purdy offense with CMC and Kittle then let’s see what he can do.

  14. Football is great, we can sit on our chesterfield( thats a couch for the younger crowd) and fantisize about our dream team, they are all all pros playing in the most perfect of conditions.
    But, when the whistle blows the game becomes an exersize in realism. There are no excuses ,there is no time for make believe.
    At this moment the better QB is Brock Purdy. He is the QB that the 9ers have going forward. He is a winner, not my belief but by his record.
    Go 9ers.

  15. next year the niners have a great situation at qb. they have 2 young potential starters both on very affordable contracts which give them financial flexibility in free agency and signing their own players (Bosa,Greenwald,etc) to extensions

  16. Not sure WHY this is worth discussing!
    1) JG is going to get an offer from another NFL team (Jets?) that the 9ers can not afford to match! Not with 25 free agents in 2023 and some the 9ers will have to pay more to resign. There’s also the mega contract the 9er will sign to extend Bosa ($25 Mil), the one player they can’t afford to lose.
    2) Purdy’s 2023 fate will be determined by how far he and the 9ers go in the playoffs. He has proven he can be a starting QB in the NFL and if he wins the SB, it would be next to impossible for KS to not make him the starting QB in 2023. The worst case for Purdy is he’ll compete with Lance to be the starting QB in 2023.
    3) After all the draft picks the 9ers gave up to draft Lance, the 9ers are not trading him in 2023. Not when they can keep both Lance and Purdy on their rookie contracts.
    IMO, Purdy will be the starting QB in 2023 and possibly 2024. Lance will be given time to gain the experience he lacks and if he does develop into the QB the 9ers believed he would be, he may eventually become the starting QB?
    If Lance does develop into a starting QB, but can’t beat out Purdy, then I can see the 9ers trading him.

    1. IMO Shanahan likes and trusts Brock Purdy at this pt more than the other 2 qbs. Of course that can change

        1. Purdy is the man because he’s lighting it up, and despite the availability of game tape, opposing defenses haven’t figured him out. With Lance, teams would gear up to stop the run and dare Lance to throw the ball, because they knew he wasn’t a threat. I haven’t seen them doing that with Brock. He’s been deadly so far and opposing teams know it.

  17. I agree with Jimmy Bus. Trey Lance is trying to prove himself. I agree he looks bewildered on many plays. It’s actually him thinking too much during the play. He’s not decisive and doesn’t trust himself just yet. And as a former college football player, the WORST thing you can do is think in the middle of a play. It’s has to be all reaction.

    Purdy is playing with house money. No one believe in him. It’s a familiar role if I’m not mistaking. But you can tell he truly trust what he sees and just lets the ball fly. He’s decisive when he decides to run. I believe that makes all the difference. One player is thinking too much, the other is just playing.

    Their college experiences may play a factor. Trey didn’t play at the same level as Purdy, nor did he take as many collegiate reps as Purdy. I think Purdy should be given a legit shot at the starting position next year.

  18. Our roster is Super Bowl calibre right now & we are on a position to be the dominant team in the NFC for the next several seasons. After a couple of years we now seem to have found the missing piece of the jigsaw at QB & it’s Brock Purdy. He might not have the biggest arm but he is poised in & out of the pocket, his release is quick & accurate & he has very good completion rates. He reads the field well & executed plays like a veteran. Despite 2 years of preseason training camps & 3 or 4 NFL starts Trey Lance looks like startled deer on the field & out of his depth with the 49er playbook. Worryingly for a QB who is hoping to rely on mobility as a key strength, since 2020 he has already injured his right knee twice had the season ending broken ankle injuries plus he fractured his finger. When he has run it hasn’t looked confident in the way that Fields, Hurts or even Mahones move. More importantly the team clearly have more confidence in Purdy. Just because so much was unfortunately traded away to give Lance an artificially higher draft rating is no reason to stick with him. If anything it’s Purdy who plays with the ability & confidence of a 1st rd pick. In this game the “ceiling potential” of a guy who played one full sophomore season at a tier 2 college in 2019 doesn’t get you a Lombardi Trophy. Winning does.
    Brock Purdy wins games.

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