4 New Years resolutions 49ers need to make entering 2022

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Trey Sermon, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers running back Trey Sermon (28) Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers New Years Resolution No. 3: Kyle Shanahan must trust his young players

Look, it totally makes sense for first- and second-year players to have to earn their respective keeps, even if they’re high-profile investments, as is the case with Trey Lance.

Yet Kyle Shanahan hasn’t always been the best at fully utilizing his younger players, particularly on offense but also on both sides of the ball. It’s partially the reason why defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, notably out with a knee injury for much of 2021, hasn’t turned into a dominant force.

True, those players have to perform at high levels, too. But Shanahan largely closed the door on young players like Lance and rookie running back Trey Sermon this season despite both being high-profile draft picks.

Read More: 3 guards to watch in 2022 draft if Aaron Banks goes bust

To a lesser extent, and certainly influenced by his own lack of performing, second-round offensive guard Aaron Banks has been wholly neglected.

Some or all of these young players may flame out at the pro level. That’s just the nature of rookies and second-year players.

Still, Shanahan has to make every attempt possible to put his young players, particularly those high-profile ones, into positions to succeed.

Otherwise, they’ll be considered more wasted investments.

Speaking of investments…