By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
The expectations are high for both the San Francisco 49ers and the Oregon State Beavers.
San Francisco is coming off of a NFC Championship game appearance, while the Beavers are coming off their third 10-win season in school history.
Even though both teams have high expectations for 2023, each team still has questions with the most important position in football: quarterback.
The 49ers may have found their starter in Brock Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 NFL draft, but he ruptured his UCL in his right elbow in the NFL title game and probably won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. The Niners still have former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance on the roster who is recovering from surgery to a broken ankle suffered in Week 2. Additionally, veteran Sam Darnold signed with the team on a one-year deal in free-agency.
In Corvallis, Oregon State just brought in Clemson transfer DJ Uiagalelei, but they still have Ben Gulbranson who helped the team win 10 games a season ago, and highly-touted freshman Aidan Chiles is on campus, too.
John Canzano compared the two situations and said they are similar.
“I see Sam Darnold as Ben Gulbranson,” Canzano said on 750 The Game. “He’s steady — and you know what you’re getting, you know that you could plug him in there and you can probably win some games.”
Canzano continued: “I see Brock Purdy as the DJ Uiagalelei. I think there’s more playmaking ability there. Not a tremendous, blow-you-away passer, but a guy who is a good athlete and can lead your team.
“I see Trey Lance as Aidan Chiles in the room. Everybody at Oregon State telling me how much they love Aidan Chiles throwing the ball. Anyone who has seen OSU practice comes away going, ‘You know what, that kid, that freshman, he’s going to be the future.’ And I kind of think Trey Lance needs to fall into that role.”
It is an entertaining exercise. But Canzano points out the Niners investment in Lance could influence their decision to make him the starter.
“If you go up and get a player,” Canzano said, “you’ve got to play him.”
Listen to the segment talking 49ers and the Beavers QBs at the 54:30 mark in the podcast below. Listen to John Canzano deliver the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.