Kittle analyzes 49ers' QB competition between Jimmy G, Lance

Trey Lance

With under three weeks to go until the start of the NFL regular season, Kyle Shanahan has yet to name a starting quarterback for the 49ers' Week 1 game against the Detroit Lions.

Jimmy Garoppolo opened training camp as the unquestioned No. 1 on the depth chart, but No. 3 overall draft pick Trey Lance has done enough to make things interesting as we head toward the third and final preseason game.

While star tight end George Kittle doesn't know which way Shanahan is leaning, he has been impressed by what he has seen from both quarterbacks.

"I'm just kind of experiencing it day-to-day," Kittle told Rich Eisen on "The Rich Eisen Show" on Tuesday. "I get a bunch of reps with both quarterbacks. Like you said, Jimmy has been the captain, he has been the leader of this team and he still is. He is playing at a super high level with us in practice, and, you know, we had a [16-play] drive to open up Sunday Night Football.

"Trey is learning. He is getting better every single day. He has got a cannon for an arm, he can make a bunch of throws. It is fun to see that stuff, and obviously he still has a lot to learn. So we're just taking it day-by-day, and are out there practicing trying to get better as a team.


"I think both guys have made a lot of strides. I think Kyle said it earlier that Jimmy had his best OTAs, and I think Jimmy is still firing along right now. I see Jimmy's confidence and I'm excited to play a little bit this Sunday against the Raiders."

RELATED: Jimmy G vs. Lance isn't as clear of a decision as many believe

Garoppolo did lead the 49ers on a 16-play drive to open up their preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but the drive ended when Garoppolo threw high to a wide-open, in-breaking Brandon Aiyuk. The ball hit off Aiyuk's fingers and was picked off by Asante Samuel Jr.

Lance has had an up-and-down preseason, filled both with highlights and teaching moments. The North Dakota State product has yet to show off his legs during the preseason, which makes it hard to fully evaluate his impact on the 49ers' offense. As Lance works to clean up his mechanics, he has struggled a bit with accuracy, posting a completion percentage above expectation of minus-18.2. That stat, however, doesn't reflect that Lance has had seven passes dropped, the most of any QB in the preseason.

Both Garoppolo and Lance are expected to see the field when the 49ers close out the preseason against the Raiders, and then, the most talked-about QB competition of the preseason should finally come to an end ... for now.

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