5 burning questions 49ers face entering 2022 season

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

49ers burning question No. 1: Will Trey Lance make the second-year leap?

We can question and scoff at the 49ers’ apparent mishandling of the situation between quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. But the cold, hard reality is Lance will be the long-term solution under center.

Garoppolo, whether you’re a fan of him or not, is still in lame-duck status. The Niners should have moved him much earlier instead of painfully retaining him on the roster, currently.

Enough about Jimmy G, though. Lance is the bigger burning question.

Two starts amid Garoppolo injuries last year, Lance going 1-1 in those starts and looking “meh” in his NFL debut and then more than impressive in Week 17 against the Houston Texans.

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Yet that abbreviated stat line from the 2021 No. 3 overall draft pick’s rookie year also doesn’t completely cover his notable inexperience from the college level at North Dakota State, one that saw him start for just one full season, 2019, appear in only one game in 2020 before the pandemic shut things down and his mere 318 pass attempts over his collegiate tenure.

As far as the skills, smarts and work ethic, Lance has it all.

But, will those traits be enough for him to turn into a legitimate weapon? Or will he wind up floundering amid the pressure?

Pretty big question, especially considering what the Niners gave up to draft him.

Next. 4 teams that could employ Jimmy Garoppolo in 2022. dark