San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle threw some support behind quarterback Trey Lance during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show on Friday.
Kittle suggested that the second-year signal-caller has impressed him greatly:
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"Once Trey Lance gets a lot of reps just watch out because some of the things I've seen em do in practice mind boggle me" ~<a href="https://twitter.com/gkittle46?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gkittle46</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMSLive?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMSLive</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FTTB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FTTB</a> <a href="https://t.co/CAw2OzTGvI">pic.twitter.com/CAw2OzTGvI</a>
"Once this kid gets a lot of reps, just watch out, because some of the things I've seen him do in practice kind of mind boggle me, so I'm waiting for it," Kittle said.
San Francisco traded two first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Miami Dolphins to move up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL draft and used that pick to select Lance out of North Dakota State.
Quarterbacks are generally expected to start right away because they are picked that high and cost that much draft capital, but the Niners stuck with Jimmy Garoppolo for most of the season.
Garoppolo's stats were average at best, but he helped lead the 49ers all the way to the NFC Championship Game.
Despite that, it would be considered an upset if Lance doesn't open 2022 as the starter. That could be complicated if Garoppolo remains on the roster, though, as he hasn't been traded despite that being the overwhelming expectation when the 2021 campaign ended.
Kittle didn't play favorites during the McAfee interview, as he also praised Garoppolo for leading the team to the NFC title game last season, while simultaneously being gracious with his time and helping to develop Lance.
If Lance does win the starting job, the Niners offense will likely look a bit different than it has in the past few years since he is a dual-threat quarterback and far more dynamic than Jimmy G.
In his only full season as a college starter in 2019, Lance not only threw 28 touchdown passes with no interceptions, but he rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 scores as well.
Lance showed flashes of brilliance as a passer and runner in limited opportunities last season, and Kittle's comments suggest he expects to see some special things out of Lance in 2022.