"I think they're going offense. It's got to be quarterback. We don't know the situation with Colin Kaepernick, if he's going to be around or if he's going to be leaving. So the big guy, Lynch, out of Memphis, would be an exceptional quarterback," Rice told NFL Network's NFL HQ on Monday. "Big guy, strong arm and I think Chip Kelly had a lot of success with Nick Foles (with the Eagles). I think he could take Lynch under his belt and develop him into a very good quarterback."
Rice also was asked about North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz, and whether his FCS level of experience would be a disadvantage for him in the NFL. He quickly drew a comparison to another former small-college player who easily overcame the gap in competition: himself.
"I don't think so. Not at all. I remember the Blue-Gray (college all-star) game, that's when I got a chance to go up against all the players from the major colleges," Rice said. "It was time for me to shine and I was the MVP of that game. I don't think (Wentz is) going to get intimidated by that. I think it's going to give him an opportunity where he can showcase his talent. I was looking forward to it, and I think I did OK."
With those trades creating circumstances that could make Lynch the most attractive quarterback available as early as the third pick of the draft, the 49ers are now part of the Thursday night Lynch watch.