3 things Trey Lance must improve upon entering 2022

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Trey Lance must cut down his time to throw

Jimmy Garoppolo has his share of critics, but few will fault him for his ability to get the ball out quickly.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jimmy G’s average time to throw last season was 2.56 seconds, just a shade above that threshold of 2.5 seconds when an opposing team’s pass rush is in danger of getting home for a sack.

Lance, on the other hand, clocked in on average of 3.37 seconds.

Granted, this isn’t a perfect evaluation tool. Lance’s stronger arm means he can wait longer, provided he has adequate protection, for his receivers’ routes to develop deeper down the field, subsequently taking advantage of them, whereas Garoppolo tended to live by shorter throws no more than 10 yards down the field.

Still, NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger identified a key aspect that could influence that time-to-throw metric: Lance’s windup.

“It’s got to get tighter,” Baldinger said. “It’s got to get tighter or you’re going to get the ball knocked out of your hands. Guys are going to read you. You’ve got to read the defense a little bit better. … This is what he’s got to work on next year. A big windup, a quicker release.”

Spot on.

Of course, tweaking the mechanics will have an impact on Lance’s accuracy, perhaps in a positive matter but not necessarily. The trick will be to mesh those two together in a productive manner.

If Lance can do that, there are few reasons to assume he won’t turn into a high-quality quarterback.

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