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Trey Lance’s physical tools as a prospect weren’t hard to recognize. He’s big, a powerful runner, extremely athletic, and has a very strong right arm. All of those qualities helped make him the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, but 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel told reporters there’s another characteristic of Lance’s that stands out in practice.

While the physical stuff may jump out to anyone observing, McDaniel explained in a videoconference that Lance’s ability to accept coaching is what has the first-time OC most excited.

“Having Trey in house, it’s been exciting because he is who we thought he was in terms of the diligent worker. The guy is very smart and he wants to do well, but he takes coaching,” McDaniel said. “That’s something that’s undervalued in this day and age, I think, that people don’t really give its true gravity. ‘Hey, a guy is willing to hear constructive criticism and take that and move forward,’ instead of getting their feelings hurt because we’re not in the business of feelings. We’re in the business of end results. So, I think all of our players and the culture that is kind of instilled here, they kind of understand that we are here to coach you for the better betterment of all of our existences.”

Being coachable is going to be perhaps the most important factor for Lance’s development as an NFL quarterback. For all the physical traits, his lack of experience had draft analysts wary of selecting him in the top three. He started only 17 games for FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, which raised questions about in-game reps and his ability to rise to a new level of competition.

It appears Lance is off to a great start through rookie minicamp and seven OTAs. This has been the easy part though. Once the pads come on and camp gets underway, being coachable is going to be a significant buoy for Lance as he goes through the typical ups and downs of a rookie signal caller trying to gain his NFL legs.


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