You know Lance as the third overall pick and dynamic dual-threat quarterback from North Dakota State. The FCS standout just received significant news about Hurd, a Baylor product and 2019 draftee who has the potential to become one of his quarterback’s most important weapons.
Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers intend to keep Jalen Hurd on the roster
In the summer of 2019, Lance prepared to take over as North Dakota State’s starting quarterback. Elsewhere in the country, Hurd was in his first training camp with the 49ers.
A versatile threat who played running back and receiver in college, Hurd hoped to use his explosive skillset in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. However, the third-round pick missed his rookie season with a back injury and watched the 49ers reach the Super Bowl without him.
Hurd and the 49ers understandably hoped for better results in 2020. Unfortunately for the second-year receiver, he tore his ACL in training camp and missed his second straight season.
If any 49ers fans thought Hurd would be on the bubble and emerge as a potential cut, Shanahan had an important rebuttal. According to 49ers Webzone, the fifth-year head coach confirmed Hurd is one of the team’s top-six receivers and is not at risk of being cut.
49ers general manager John Lynch said during a recent interview on KNBR in San Francisco that the team is “holding on” and remains excited about the Baylor product.
Hurd could become an invaluable weapon if he can stay healthy
The 49ers already have some extremely talented offensive players who Lance can utilize whenever he takes over as the starting quarterback. George Kittle is arguably the league’s top tight end and running back Raheem Mostert has used his excellent speed to become a vital figure in Shanahan’s offense.
So why should people care about Hurd, outside of those who want to stash him on their fantasy football roster? Remember, the 6-foot-4 Hurd thrived in college as an all-purpose electric weapon. He began his college career as a running back at Tennessee and ran for over 2,600 yards and 20 touchdowns there. That included a 1,285-yard and 12-touchdown season in 2015.
After impressing as a pass-catching running back at Tennessee, Hurd moved to receiver upon transferring to Baylor. He hauled in 69 catches for 946 yards and four touchdowns as a senior in 2018.
Hurd’s versatility makes him a perfect fit for Shanahan’s offense in 2021. The 49ers need another speedy receiver who can line up at different spots and play various roles. The team waived fourth-year receiver Richie James, who filled that role at times last year, after he suffered a knee injury during the preseason.
Don’t be surprised to see Hurd take some of the snaps which would have gone to James … assuming he can stay healthy, of course.
Lance has looked like a quarterback who’s ready for the NFL
Two things can be true right now. Lance has looked the part of an NFL quarterback, and 49ers fans shouldn’t overreact to the preseason.
In his first two preseason games, the third overall pick completed 13 of his 28 passes for 230 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Aside from his beautiful 80-yard touchdown throw in the 49ers’ preseason opener, the biggest positive takeaway about Lance’s play has been his mental toughness. He’s rebounded from rough moments, including the interception, and displayed impressive accuracy at points.
The 49ers will likely start Jimmy Garropolo against the Detroit Lions in Week 1, and that’s the correct move. However, Lance’s time will come, and he’s already shown signs of someone who will have a field day in Shanahan’s offense.
Only time will tell if Hurd joins Lance in the huddle this season. If that turns out to be the case, however, 49ers fans should expect plenty of touchdowns and electrifying moments from the talented duo.