Lance leading rookie QBs on downfield passes in preseason


One of the clear flaws in the 49ers' offense in the handful of games that Jimmy Garoppolo was healthy for last season was San Francisco's lack of home-run plays down the field. With the wizardry of Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers' offense was too reliant on quick passes, often behind the line of scrimmage, to Deebo Samuel and others. 

Well, here comes Trey Lance.

Through two weeks of the NFL preseason, Lance leads all rookie quarterbacks when targeting past the sticks, completing 64.3 percent of his attempts. 

Lance has completed 13 of his 28 pass attempts in the preseason for 230 yards and three passing touchdowns and has been intercepted once. We also have to add some more context. Lance also leads all QBs in the preseason with seven dropped passes

In the case that all seven drops turned into receptions, Lance's preseason completion percentage would jump from 46.4 percent to 71.4, a 25-percent difference. 

Lance throws a ball that rivals one of an All-Star closer. He showcased his rocket on a slant to Travis Benjamin that turned into a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers, and San Francisco's receivers better get used to his arm strength in a hurry. 

RELATED: Rookie QB grades: Lance shows resilience while Wilson shines

“You would love to make it easier and catch footballs, but also our guys better get used to it," Shanahan said after the 49ers' 15-10 win over the Chargers. "He throws pretty hard. Some are tougher than others, but I don’t think that had to do with a couple (incomplete passes).”

It already was known that Lance's running ability would be able to extend plays for the 49ers down the field. Now it's clear the same goes for the 21-year-old's right arm.

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