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Lost in all the Deebo Samuel news currently occupying the hearts and heads of San Francisco fans, is the fact that the 49ers are likely to enter next fall with both Super Bowl aspirations and a new quarterback. Unsettling as that may be, 49ers tight end George Kittle seems anything but concerned.
“Trey’s got one of the highest ceilings I’ve ever seen before,” Kittle said during an appearance on the “I Am Athlete” podcast.
Kittle’s reference was to the talent displayed by Trey Lance, the third overall pick in last April’s draft. Lance is widely presumed to be San Fran’s 2022-23 starter, replacing Jimmy Garroppolo.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, left, celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel, middle, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
Given Jimmy G’s run of success and Lance’s limited action as a rookie (he appeared in six games with just two starts), plenty of questions surround the team’s (likely) decision to trot out Trey.
His talent shouldn’t be one of them.
“Some of the things you see (Lance) do on the field are like, ‘holy cow, I can’t wait until he throws me passes,” Kittle told I Am Athlete.
Once Lance eventually throws passes in Kittle’s direction, onlookers may confuse the 21-year-old quarterback with one of the league’s top gun slingers who resides in the AFC East.
“He reminds me the most of Josh Allen,” Kittle said. “Josh Allen is established and Trey has to prove that 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.”
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after a touchdown run during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)
At least physically, the Lance – Allen comparison adds up. Buffalo’s superstar QB stands 6’5 and close to 240 pounds. Lance is just an inch shorter and about 15 pounds lighter. But it’s Allen’s game, not his body that Niners fans hope Lance mirrors.
In just four seasons, Allen’s thrown 103 touchdowns against just 43 interceptions and added another 31 scores on the ground. After his 2020 season, he was named 2nd-team All-Pro. More importantly, Buffalo’s been a consistent contender with Allen under center.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) passes against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
San Francisco would obviously be pleased to garner similar results from Lance. And Kittle seems to expect as much. “He can roll out to the right and throw it 50 yards diagonal on a line,” said Kittle. “There’s not a lot of people who can do that stuff. He’s got an insane ceiling.”
Talk about a San Francisco treat.