Trey Lance will be under all kinds of scrutiny when the 49ers kick off training camp this week, meaning he’ll want to check these items off his to-do list.
While then-rookie quarterback Trey Lance received all kinds of attention in the practices and training camp the San Francisco 49ers held after they selected him at No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft a year ago, 2022 is going to be vastly different.
In many ways, it has been.
With veteran signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined with a shoulder injury and locked in all kinds of trade speculation anyway, Lance has received first-team reps during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp.
Now, Lance will remain QB1 with the Niners beginning training camp this year, a role the former North Dakota State quarterback was fully intended to embrace.
However, and understandably so, there’ll be no shortage of increased attention over the next few weeks, both from doubters and proponents. And with the eyes of the fanbase and league all upon him, Lance will want to get off to a hot start with the increase in practice pressure.
Simply stated, he’ll want to make sure he’s responding appropriately, and these three achievements have to be towards the top of his priority list.
No. 1: Trey Lance has to show ‘arm fitness’ isn’t a thing
Earlier this offseason, NFL analyst Ryan Harris told CBS Sports he was concerned about Lance’s “fitness of his arm,” whatever exactly that meant. And while Harris went to lengths later trying to describe it, the whole point created yet another piece of discussion in the Lance saga.
Niner Noise debunked the concerns earlier this offseason, but the story certainly hasn’t gone away.
There might be some merit to questioning how well Lance might respond to not having thrown much in games dating back to his last full year as a starter, 2019, as well as wondering about the minor mechanical tweaks San Francisco has had him undergo.
In terms of hitting all points of the field, though, Lance has already demonstrated that capability, and taking a look at that particular deep-pass touchdown to wide receiver Deebo Samuel back in Week 17 last year is a prime example:
If Lance is regularly throwing the ball around the field with no issue during camp, including deep passes, it’ll go a long way towards silencing those worries from analysts like Harris.