Kyle Shanahan explains 49ers' decision to trade up to No. 3 to take Trey Lance

The San Francisco 49ers paid a hefty price to leap from No. 12 overall to No. 3 to snag Trey Lance in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Niners essentially placed their future in Lance's hands, sending three first-round picks to Miami for the right to select the dynamic, dual-threat quarterback. San Francisco doesn't have a first-round pick until 2024 and is also out a third-rounder in 2022.

Some viewed the price GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan paid as a curve-breaking amount. Shanahan, however, told The Rich Eisen Show on Monday that he believes if the Niners hadn't leapt up the board when they did early in the process, someone would have, and the cost might have been even higher.

"I actually believe that if we wouldn't have, somebody else was going to eventually, and that price is only going to go up," Shanahan said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. "That was a decision that we all had to make. Me, John, Jed (York), and once we did we never really looked back, and what changed was I think the feeling of when you go through that stuff."

The Niners got aggressive before ultimately landing on Lance as their future signal-caller. Shanahan noted Monday that the club looked into several options, including potentially adding a veteran to upgrade the position and ultimately move on from Jimmy Garoppolo.

"To feel the way that I did, especially about Alabama QB [Mac Jones] and then about Trey and where we were at and what happened with (Matthew Stafford) and (Deshaun Watson) we knew early that 'Hey, we need to be aggressive so that we get one,' and 'Where was that spot?'" Shanahan said. "We looked into all of the others. We looked into the fourth pick, we looked into the fifth pick, and the third one was the one that had the most chance to move a month in advance."

It's certainly possible that another team that had fallen in love with Lance could have paid a hefty price to get to No. 3 overall in line behind the Jags, who were primed to take Trevor Lawrence, and the Jets, who zeroed in on Zach Wilson.

Rumors raged ahead of the draft that if the Niners had selected Jones at three, there might have been a market for the Falcons at No. 4 to trade their pick to a club looking to snag Lance. Those rumors turned to dust when San Francisco selected the talented NDSU product and finally paired Shanahan with a uber-talented dual-threat QB who can expand his offense.

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