49ers

Simms says 49ers QB Lance must diversify throw repertoire

49ers

Trey Lance put together an up-and-down performance in his 49ers preseason debut, completing just five of 14 passes but engineering the highlight of the game with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield.

Pro Football Focus graded Lance as the worst of the five QBs selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, while opposing head coach Andy Reid praised the rookie for his poise in his first professional game.

NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms was asked about Lance's first preseason game, and spoke about the one area he believes the 21-year-old could improve as he prepares for his rookie season.

"There's only one club, and it's the rifle, the laser, I haven't seen a curveball, a changeup, or other use, and that would be the one thing that concerns me a little after the first game," Simms said on "Pro Football Talk Live." "Every ball was as hard as you could throw it and it led to some incompletions and some inaccuracy throwing the football, and those were some things that at least jumped out to me."

Arm strength was one of Lance's top attributes coming out of North Dakota State, and that talent was evident on his lone touchdown pass where he perfectly led his wideout for what became an 80-yard scoring strike.

 
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However, Lance also had three passes dropped and ended up with a completion percentage of just 35.7 percent. You can't glean much from preseason stats, but Lance being able to develop the touch on his passes will be integral to his success as an NFL QB.

Both he and NBC Sports' Mike Florio acknowledged that players often are extra revved up for their first preseason game and appearance in their team's uniform, so that likely played a role in there being some extra juice on several of Lance's throws.

The good news for the rookie is that he'll have joint practices with the Los Angeles Chargers this week ahead of the 49ers' second preseason game at SoFi Stadium. The 49ers will close the preseason with a game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Aug. 29, before their regular-season opener on Sept. 12 against the Detroit Lions.

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