How Lance reminds 49ers' McCloud of Bills QB Josh Allen


SANTA CLARA -- Receiver and return man Ray-Ray McCloud spent time with the Buffalo Bills during the first three seasons of quarterback Josh Allen’s career.

And after coming to the 49ers this offseason as a free-agent acquisition, McCloud said he is already seeing similarities between the Bills’ young Pro Bowl quarterback and the 49ers’ first-year starter Trey Lance.

Lance had a strong day on the 49ers’ practice field on Tuesday, and McCloud said he has been witnessing Lance getting more and more comfortable, confident and effective.

“Not even today, every day he’s getting better, learning how to be a leader,” McCloud said. “Not even learning. He has it already. It’s just a natural thing with him.

"Actually, I came in with Josh Allen with the Bills, and he gives me that same type of energy -- that I’m-ready-to-take-the-next-step energy.”

Allen started 11 games as a rookie after he entered the league as the No. 7 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. In his second year, Allen helped Buffalo to a 10-6 record and a playoff spot.

In his third season, Allen emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, throwing for 4,544 yards with 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Lance takes over this season for veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, whom the 49ers are trying to trade. Lance was the No. 3 overall pick in 2021 and started just two games as a rookie.

RELATED: Lance bounces back, flourishes at practice after day off

McCloud said Lance is asserting himself on the practice field with his knowledge of where everyone needs to line up on different plays and formations.

“[I’m] watching Trey every day grow as a leader being able to take control of not only just the huddle, the offense as a whole,” McCloud said.

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