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Rookie Lance 'pushing' Garoppolo for 49ers QB job

The San Francisco 49ers paid a heavy price to move up and select quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, and he could end up winning the starting job sooner than expected. 

San Francisco general manager John Lynch said Friday that Lance is "pushing" incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo in training camp, but insisted head coach Kyle Shanahan will make the final call before the season opener. 

The 49ers will get a long look at Lance as they begin the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

While Garoppolo will start, Shanahan said Thursday he expects the veteran to play just one series before handing the reins over to Lance for the rest of the first half. 

It will be the 21-year-old's first game-speed look at an NFL defence, and everyone is curious to see how he will handle it after playing only 19 college games at North Dakota State. 

After trading their first-round picks in 2021, 2022 and 2023, plus a third-rounder in 2022, to move up and pick Lance, the 49ers have been impressed by what they have seen from him in camp.

“He’s been awesome. He’s been everything we thought he would be and more," Lynch told KNBR radio Friday. 

"He was good from day one when he walked in here in the offseason, and I think a testament to what we thought he was and his work ethic.”

Lynch said Lance and Garoppolo have developed a strong rapport and the rookie has earned his team-mates' respect. 

The newly minted Hall of Famer deumurred when asked about whether Lance might end up starting the September 12 opener at the Detroit Lions. 

"That's up to our head coach," Lynch said. "He makes the decisions on who's playing and whatnot. But I think it's Jimmy's right now and Trey's pushing. I think that's where it's at."