If anyone can give a precise scouting report on the San Francisco 49ers No. 3 overall pick, it might be one of the guys to catch passes from him.
On Tuesday, George Kittle was a guest on Good Morning Football where he gave a peek into what fans can expect out of rookie quarterback Trey Lance.
"I think Trey has all the attributes to be a very good, very special quarterback," Kittle said. "He's a freak athlete. I think really one of my favorite things about him right now just as a rookie, is that he takes risks. Like, he doesn't complete all the passes that he throws, but he's trying to fit into those small windows. And he's just trying to throw it as hard as he can to get it to that wide receiver going through maybe the second window. And I think that's really fun to see a guy take risks."
There's been much speculation surrounding Lance and the quarterback position after the 49ers jumped nine spots in the draft to land the signal caller. Much in question has been the future of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who enters his fifth season with the club this fall. Despite the supposition, San Francisco's brass has remained steadfast in their stance that Garoppolo gives the 49ers the best chance to win in 2021.
His performance during the team's offseason workout program appears to back that up. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo had his best offseason since joining the team.
Whether his improvement is by way of a clean bill of health, another year in Shanahan's system or competition with the incoming rookie, the quarterback's raised game has also caught the attention of some of his teammates.
"He's not going to shy away from adversity or shy away from a draft pick," Kittle said of Garoppolo. "He has a fire lit under him and he's excited to roll. I know coach Shanahan said it, I think I said it too, I think Jimmy played one of his best OTA balls that I've seen. He was just slinging it around left and right. So that was fun to see.
"At the end of the day, football is a competitive sport and competition is what breeds greatness… I think we have four very capable quarterbacks. But there's a lot of competition over there. And it's just going to be fun to see that progress throughout training camp."
Meanwhile, Lance is in the midst of making a jump from appearing in 19 games against FCS competition at North Dakota State to being groomed into an NFL quarterback. The quarterback was notorious for his athletic skill set and rushing abilities with the Bison. He recorded 1,325 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground over his three seasons at North Dakota State, including a 1,100 yard season and 14 scores in 2019.
So far through OTAs, the rookie has shown his ability to process the 49ers offense and handle the load of what's been thrown at him in a short period of time. Shanahan's offense is widely known to be incredibly complex, and the rookie's early understanding is an encouraging step in his progression.
His athleticism under center paired with a head coach who is regarded as an offensive genius in scheming opportunities, opens the doors on San Francisco's possibilities going forward. That potential, not only for the 49ers offense but Lance's development, makes Kittle believe that the rookie has landed in a perfect opportunity to succeed in San Francisco. And if anyone knows about that first hand, it just might be their star tight end.
"I'm excited to see his progress throughout training camp," Kittle added. "He's an eager guy that wants to learn. And I know that when you're in a room with coach Shanahan, that kind of a mastermind, he's going to learn a lot. So, I think he's definitely in the right spot."