Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle says 49ers’ Trey Lance has an ‘insane ceiling,’ compares him to this star QB

Apr 25, 2022 at 11:08 AM--

No one is 100 percent positive about what will happen with the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback situation. Most expect Trey Lance to be the team's starter in 2022, replacing veteran Jimmy Garoppolo. However, Garoppolo remains on the roster.

Of course, the Deebo Samuel drama has overshadowed all of this. Still, the quarterback situation is one of the team's most prominent offseason storylines.

Tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu sat down with Brandon Marshall for an interview with "I Am Athlete." The star tight end shared his thoughts on the 49ers' second-year quarterback, Lance, and how the 21-year-old has benefitted from Garoppolo's presence.

"Trey has an insane ceiling," Kittle admitted. "He just needs some reps here and there; throw the ball a little bit more. You can't really get better without playing games. ... Just playing, going against competition, getting hit and getting back up, dealing with adversity, how you deal with it. Because [some] guys that come in the league that win their entire life, and they get hit in the face a couple of times, it's different. It's just a learning process."

Kittle compared Lance to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

"Josh Allen is an established quarterback," Kittle shared. "Trey has to prove that. He has to do it on the football field. But I think he can move the chains with his feet. He's a big body. He can take hits. He wants to make plays. He's got a cannon of an arm. It's crazy. He can roll out to the right on the sideline and throw it diagonally, like 50 yards on a line. There's not a lot of people that can do that stuff."

Kittle added that he feels Garoppolo was a fantastic mentor for Lance this past season. However, there is no way to predict what will happen with Garoppolo. Yes, the team would like to trade him. But, right now, there aren't too many suitors as the veteran quarterback recovers from his March 8 shoulder surgery. There might be none after this week's draft.

"We don't know what's going to happen with Jimmy," Kittle continued. "I have no idea. I find out on Twitter like everybody else. I think the year that Jimmy is traded or something happens there, or even if Jimmy is on the team, the year that Trey spent with him is very beneficial."

Kittle also applauded Garoppolo's attitude in 2021, after the 49ers traded a haul of draft capital to acquire his eventual replacement. Garoppolo could have demanded a trade but opted to remain with the team and serve as Lance's mentor, all while dealing with the awkward questions from the media.

Kittle added, "I feel like 80 percent of the people would have [said], 'Hey, screw you guys. I'm out.'"

Who would Kittle prefer throwing him footballs this season? It's not an easy choice for the tight end.

"I'm kind of 50-50, right in the middle, honestly," Kittle responded. "Jimmy, he's a fantastic leader. We almost won a Super Bowl. We've been to the NFC Championship twice in three seasons. And then you look at Trey—I think Trey's got one of the highest ceilings I've ever seen before. Some of the things you see him do on the football field, you're like, 'Holy cow. I can't wait until he throws me passes.'

"I want whoever's going to be the better quarterback this season. And it is a business at the end of the day. We're just monetary values, really, like cogs in the machine. I do trust [head coach] Kyle Shanahan. I think he's going to pick the best quarterback. I don't have a preference. I don't. I think I like them both. They're both good guys. They both bring different things to the table. It's just what do you want to play with?"

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