On just his second pass attempt in his NFL preseason debut, rookie quarterback Trey Lance showed off the kind of arm strength that made the 49ers trade up to the No. 3 pick in the draft to select the North Dakota State product.
It was the exact play 49ers fans were praying to see. They didn't need much time to lose their minds and start planning Super Bowl trips for years to come after Lance connected with Trent Sherfield on an 80-yard touchdown. For fellow rookie Deommodore Lenoir, it was the kind of throw he sees almost every day from Lance.
Lance's arm strength was on full display in the 49ers' 19-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, reminding Lenoir of last season's NFL Rookie of the Year.
"Trey is very talented," Lenoir said to reporters. "I actually played with a quarterback that was just like him with arm strength and then being able to make them tight window throws."
Lenoir of course was referring to his former Oregon Ducks teammate.
"Yeah, Justin Herbert," he said.
Herbert was the No. 6 overall pick by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2020 draft. After sitting Week 1 behind veteran Tyrod Taylor, Herbert was thrust into action in Week 2 and never looked back. He wound up playing 15 games, throwing for 4,336 yards, 31 touchdowns and was intercepted 10 times. Herbert even added five more TDs on the ground.
Can Lance be on the same path as Herbert?
Jimmy Garoppolo still is the 49ers' starter under center and completed all three of his pass attempts on Saturday. At the same time, it's impossible to ignore Lance's skill set and upside.
He has the size, arm strength and athleticism that Herbert brings to the table. And that's a pretty good young QB to be compared to right now.