49ers training camp: Trey Lance tosses Patrick Mahomes-like bomb
By Peter Panacy
Trey Lance was the star of the show during 49ers training camp on Tuesday, which included a first-team rep and then a massive downfield touchdown toss.
So much for San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan keeping rookie quarterback Trey Lance with the second-string unit during training camp.
On Monday, Shanahan told reporters he wasn’t planning on bumping the Niners’ top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft up to the first-team group just yet. That role was still being held by the presumed starter, Jimmy Garoppolo.
On Tuesday, it appeared as if Shanahan changed his mind.
Lance got one rep behind the first-team offensive line. Either one of two things happened: Lance somehow snuck in a rep with the first-team group (not likely), or Shanahan continued to play some mind chess by giving Lance one shot.
And while that rep wasn’t overly discussed by beat reporters and insiders, Lance’s next rep back with the second-team unit certainly was.
The San Jose Mercury News‘ Dieter Kurtenbach’s recount might be the best one out there:
The video from San Francisco’s PR team released the video a few hours after practice:
And it looks a lot like another quarterback who can regularly make off-body throws, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes:
All signs point to 49ers getting the ‘real deal’ with Trey Lance
No, we’re not ready to crown Lance the next edition of Mahomes. Not even close.
But just like how Chiefs insiders, beat reporters and coaches were raving about Mahomes during his rookie 2017 season before eventually starting the following year, the same is being applied to Lance now, too.
Over the weekend, NBC Sports’ Peter King visited 49ers training camp and had the following to report about Lance’s impact thus far:
"Offense v defense, unpadded, on the practice field. First-round rookie Trey Lance takes the snap, gets chased to his left, fluidly, calmly, portraying no sense of rookie yips. Up the left seam, maybe 18 yards downfield, wideout Brandon Aiyuk has a step on a corner. Lance whirls so his body is mostly facing Aiyuk, and he whips a hard spiral maybe 23 yards downfield that Aiyuk plucks out of the air. Big gain.“Oooooohhhhhhhhhh,” is the sound emanating from the defenders standing in front of me.Translation: This kid might be the goods."
Again, too soon to crown Lance the next coming of Mahomes. Garoppolo likely has a tight grip on the starting job.
And it’ll be even more crucial for Lance to continue his development, going up against schemes and defenses he hasn’t seen yet like the ones he’s gone up against during OTAs and training camp.
Regardless, it’s great to see Lance making such a sizable impact early on, potentially solidifying a position the Niners haven’t had solidified for a long, long time.