Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reporter: Thursday believed to be 49ers QB Trey Lance’s best practice of the offseason

May 27, 2022 at 8:37 AM--

This may not be as headline-worthy as it would have been had someone said it toward the middle or end of training camp. After all, the San Francisco 49ers just started organized team activities (OTAs) this week, wrapping up their third practice on Thursday. One reporter, Pro Football Focus' Doug Kyed, is hearing that the last session was second-year quarterback Trey Lance's best.

"Lance has impressed people within the organization so far this spring, and the team feels he's already shown progress early in organized team activities," Kyed recently wrote for Pro Football Focus. "Thursday was believed to be his best practice of the offseason."

Unfortunately, there is no way to verify this since only Tuesday's practice was open to the media. We'll have to wait until next week to confirm if the young quarterback has shown improvement since that open session. Nevertheless, the report that the organization is pleased with Lance's progress is promising, considering how much scrutiny the quarterback has been under this offseason and how much speculation there has been surrounding his readiness to start.

Kyed was asked if Lance could be a top quarterback in the NFL—an exclusive club to try to break into with Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, and several others considered the top players at the position.

"Lance has the tools, both physically and mentally," explained Kyed. "That's why the 49ers took him where they did third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. They believe he can be a "top-eight quarterback," and they're willing to let him prove it by trading Jimmy Garoppolo before the season. He just needs more reps and some fine-tuning on his mechanics, but he's not a complete project. He still comes with a relatively high floor, and playing under head coach Kyle Shanahan will certainly help him reach his potential."

While Kyed is unsure if Lance will break into the club of elite quarterbacks, he acknowledges that there isn't a large enough sample size to form an opinion of Lance just yet.

"There isn't a ton of information to base Lance's projection on," Kyed shared. "He earned a 90.7 overall grade (88.7 as a passer and 76.6 as a runner) in his last full season — 2019 at North Dakota State. He earned a 56.7 overall grade on 98 total snaps in the 2021 preseason and a 59.9 overall grade on 179 total snaps during the 2021 regular season."

That sample size will likely grow in 2022. Most expect Lance to enter Week 1 as the 49ers starting quarterback, succeeding Jimmy Garoppolo. After all, most believe the 49ers gave up too much to acquire Lance just to allow him to continue standing on the sidelines.

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