5 players you'll want to watch most during 49ers OTAs

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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While organized team activities don't count for too much, these five 49ers players should still garner your attention.

The San Francisco 49ers' first week of organized team activities (OTAs) already kicked off this week. And while the practices themselves aren't exactly conclusive, they can help set the tone for minicamp and training camp, both of which take place later on this summer.

Of course, there are storylines and developments that'll command more attention than others even if the pads haven't come on yet and there's no tackling involved.

In case you missed it, there's a certain quarterback competition going on, and it doesn't yet involve Brock Purdy, the Mr. Irrelevant rookie who shone bright down the stretch and into the playoffs a season ago. He's still recovering from offseason elbow surgery.

That said, the two other signal-callers competing with him to start in 2023 help kick off our five-player OTA "watch list" for the Niners.

No. 1 player to watch during 49ers OTAs: Trey Lance

It's amazing and rather troubling to see the fall from grace third-year pro Trey Lance has had since being selected No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Now looking up at Purdy on the depth chart, and still shadowed by rumors of being traded, Lance is now fighting off recently acquired quarterback Sam Darnold for the right to start this upcoming season.

After suffering his own season-ending injury a year ago in Week 2, Lance spent part of this offseason retooling his throwing motion, which will hopefully translate into a shorter release and better accuracy.

OTAs are notably easy on quarterbacks, meaning Lance should be able to take advantage without a pass rush or defensive backs pressing their receivers.

If he doesn't, that'll be a massive red flag for his chances to ascend beyond Purdy and Darnold.