Weekly roundup: 49ers get their guy
Warriors in the mix for playoffs; Giants, A’s off to hot starts
The San Francisco 49ers got the guy they were hoping for.
After playing a months-long shell game, the 49ers chose Trey Lance to be their quarterback of the future, using the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft to grab the North Dakota State product.
“I think he’s the total package.” said 49ers general manager John Lynch. “He’s got a lot of versatility to his game, a lot of natural rhythm and instinct at the position, and then you meet the person and you’re really blown away. He’s a humble kid, a really good natured kid, but he’s got some grit to him.”
The 20-year-old Lance boasts an impressive, albeit limited, resume. In his lone full season at North Dakota State, the 6-foot, 4-inch, 226-pound dual-threat quarterback threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns while leading the Bison to the 2019 FCS National Championship.
Despite all the buzz surrounding Lance, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Jimmy Garoppolo remains the starter in San Francisco. … for now.
“It’s going to be very hard for a rookie to come in and beat Jimmy Garoppolo out. He’s a very good player,” Shanahan said. “That’s why I like the situation that we are in. Now, we’ll see where Trey’s at. We’ll see how he does at OTAs. I love that we’re getting those. I love that he’s going to be here (Friday). But Jimmy’s our quarterback right now.”
Lance was one of five quarterbacks taken in the first round with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence going No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, BYU’s Zach Wilson going No. 2 to the New York Jets, Ohio state’s Justin Fields going No. 11 to the Chicago Bears and Alabama’s Mac Jones going No. 15 to the New England Patriots.
El Dorado Hills product and former Oak Ridge High School quarterback Ian Book, who had a record-breaking college career at Notre Dame, is still available and expected to be picked in the later rounds of the draft.
Fellow Northern California prospect Najee Harris, who starred at Antioch High School and later at Alabama, was chosen by the Steelers with the No. 24 overall pick.
IN THE PAINT
As the NBA fast breaks toward the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors find themselves in a battle for a spot in the play-in tournament, and the Sacramento Kings are where they usually are — on the outside looking in.
Coming into Friday, the Warriors sit in the 10th and final Western Conference playoff spot with a 30-31 record. Teams seeded 7-10 in their respective conference will compete in a play-in tournament to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds for each conference.
Stephen Curry has been elite this season, averaging 31.3 points and hitting 5.2 3-pointers per game, but the team is young and desperately missing its other star Klay Thompson.
As for the Sacramento Kings. Well. … they are the Sacramento Kings. In a league where more than half the teams make the playoffs each season, the Kings look bound to miss the playoffs again, which would extend the league’s longest postseason drought to 15 seasons. As of Friday, the Kings are 25-37 overall and 5.5 games out of the 10th spot in the West with just 10 games left.
AROUND THE DIAMOND
Bay Area baseball is off to a hot start to the 2021 season. Coming into Friday, both the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s sit atop their respective divisions.
The Giants (16-9) have the second-best record in the Bigs thanks to their prowess at home. The Giants are 10-3 at Oracle Park this season and are coming off a series win over the Colorado Rockies. It’s still early on in the marathon that is the MLB season and the Giants have the Los Angeles Dodgers (16-10) and San Diego Padres (14-12) on at their heels in the N.L. West, but Giants fans should be pleased with what they’ve seen so far.
After playing the last seven at home, the Giants hit the road for a three-game series against the Padres.
The A’s have bounced back from an 0-6 start to win 16 of their last 20. Despite losing back to back games this week, something they hadn’t done since early April, the A’s lead the A.L. West by two games over the Seattle Mariners (14-12). Oakland opened a three-game home series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.
AROUND THE TRACK
A pair of Nevada County’s top professional drivers will be behind the wheel this weekend.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto will be racing at Kansas Speedway in the Buschy McBusch Race 400 and looking to build on last week’s fifth place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. The race will be broadcast at noon Sunday on FS1.
Alexander Rossi gets back on the track for IndyCar’s Genesys 300 in Texas. That race will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Nevada Union surged past Bear River on the diamond Friday, topping the Bruins, 11-1, to complete the series sweep.