San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday that he would be "very surprised" if No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance would be able to overtake Jimmy Garoppolo as the new starting quarterback for Week 1, but all head coaches have been surprised before. Lance's play in training camp could force San Francisco's brass to reconsider its game plan if he continues to show out, and one eye-popping play he recorded on Tuesday had people talking.
The former North Dakota State star has been impressive through the early stages of training camp, especially when he's given permission to throw downfield. He also has shown accuracy when tossing to blanketed targets.
Tuesday was a pretty interesting day for Lance, as he actually took a first-team rep with the starters. However, it was a QB designed run, not an opportunity to utilize his arm. Still, Lance was able to show first-team talent with the twos a few plays later, when he made his best throw of training camp.
As Dieter Kurtenbach of The Mercury News described it, Lance made a throw that was "video game nonsense." Lance apparently took a snap, stepped up, rolled left and then threw across his body on the jump. The downfield throw was sent on a rope about 50 yards, and resulted in a perfect touchdown strike to Trent Sherfield. It brought forth the biggest cheer yet from the 49ers fans in attendance, per Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Check out the play, here:
After practice, Shanahan tried to downplay Lance's session, saying he thought he had a "decent day," and that he did well on his reps, but wasn't "perfect." According to Grant Cohn of Sports Illustrated's All49ers, Shanahan said that Lance will be the starting quarterback when he believes he gives them their best chance to win.
The 49ers gave up a king's ransom to move up to the No. 3 overall spot in the 2021 NFL Draft. It was always assumed they were eyeing a quarterback since Garoppolo has struggled to stay healthy during his tenure in the Bay. Many believed it was a possibility he could be moved this offseason, but a trade never came to fruition. Now, the 49ers appear to be set on moving forward with Garoppolo under center, but if Lance continues to string together impressive reps and practices, questions will continue to be asked.