Latest report provides backdoor path for Houston Texans to land franchise QB

Trading for 49ers QB Trey Lance could be on the table. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly received several calls from NFL teams asking for potential trades involving the former No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance.

With the 2023 NFL Draft fast approaching, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has become the betting favorite to go No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers on April 27.

The Houston Texans find themselves just one pick below at No. 2 overall. With a roster that has needs at multiple positions, trading for Lance could be an out-of-the-box solution for the team’s hole at quarterback.

General manager Nick Caserio told reporters on Monday the Texans will look at everything in an effort to make the best decision for the long-term of the franchise. With Houston holding two first-round picks, including the aforementioned No. 2 pick, there has been a lot of speculation on what the Texans will do if Young indeed goes to the Panthers.

There have been debates about taking C.J. Stroud, another top quarterback prospect in the 2023 draft, or scrapping going for a quarterback altogether and going defense with that top pick — in all likelihood Alabama’s Will Anderson.

For Houston, trading for Lance could potentially put the team in position to get the best of both worlds. Taking the top defensive prospect at No. 2 while also landing a potential franchise quarterback.

The great thing going for Houston is that it has a first-hand Lance expert as its head coach. DeMeco Ryans got to see a lot of Lance during the past two seasons with the 49ers, especially last year when he was heading into the season as the penciled in starter for the team.

Going against Lance as the defensive coordinator for San Francisco gives Ryans great insight on his strengths and weaknesses.

Assuming Ryans saw enough in the past two years to believe in Lance’s potential and give Caserio the green light to go get him, the Texans could come out of the NFL Draft weekend with multiple needs addressed at a bargain.

Lance has appeared in only eight games over the course of his first two seasons in the NFL. He has started in only four of those games, one of which saw him suffer a season-ending injury on just the second drive of the contest.

In his three full starts, he is averaging roughly 202 passing yards, 44 rushing yards, 0.67 touchdown passes and an interception a game.

The numbers leave a lot to be desired, but it is a short sample size. To put it in perspective, Peyton Manning also averaged 0.67 touchdown passes and 2.67 interceptions in his first three starts.

Now to be clear, there should be no direct comparison between Lance and Manning, but it is a good reminder that numbers are not always the end all be all.

What it does mean is that Houston could use Lance’s numbers to its advantage. With the 49ers potentially locked in to Brock Purdy as their franchise quarterback, Caserio’s pitch could center around Lance’s lack of a résumé, the ankle injury, and lackluster first three starts to lower his price.

Some quarterbacks that have been traded in the recent past include Ryan Tannehil, whom the Titans acquired by giving up fourth- and seventh-round picks, and Matt Ryan, whom the Colts gave up just a third-round pick for.

If Houston could snag Lance for at-most its 2023 second-round pick, which is the same price it took for the 49ers to land Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017 when New England knew it was sticking with Tom Brady as its starter, it could allow the Texans to address the defense and any other position it deems fit with picks No. 2 and No. 12.

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