San Francisco 49ers players have praised second-year quarterback Trey Lance, who most expect to be the team’s starter in 2022.

“The things that he brings to the table in his athleticism and his rocket-cannon of an arm, it’s going to be really fun,” tight end George Kittle recently said, for example. “… I’m looking forward to it because it feels like it’s going to be a different offense with Trey at the helm,” Kittle continued, “and it’s something I’m looking forward to, and just the opportunities that come with that. It’s going to be pretty exciting.”

Safety Jimmie Ward had similar praises while discussing the 22-year-old passer.

All that praise seems to make FS1’s host of The Herd, Colin Cowherd, skeptical. We haven’t seen a lot of Lance in the NFL. He started just two games last season and played just 178 total snaps during his rookie campaign. Cowherd wants to see more, and he’ll likely get that in 2022.

“At some point, I feel like I’m being sold something here, and this is just my gut,” Cowherd said, “because I know the kid, and I like him. But my gut is the Niners don’t demand a ton from the quarterback. They don’t. It’s a very run-centric offense, and it’s very smartly schemed up.

“My gut feeling is I’ve never thought he has a pretty delivery system. I think it’s really clunky. He’s struggled with accuracy. And Kyle’s (Shanahan) an impatient guy, and they gave up a lot of picks. And you’ve got to make certain throws at about a 95 percent clip, or Kyle is not going to trust you.”

Lance didn’t play a lot in college either. He had just one full season as a starter under his belt and appeared in one game in 2020 due to COVID before the 49ers drafted him. However, Shanahan saw enough from the quarterback to convince him the team needed to trade up to select the former North Dakota State passer.

San Francisco was also talented enough to sit the young quarterback for most of his rookie campaign, allowing him the time to learn behind veteran Jimmy Garoppolo.

“And my hunch here is he’s not accurate enough, he didn’t play a lot in college, he played for a dominant run offense, and they’ve got concerns, and they just don’t want to say it,” Cowherd continued . “Can you just play him? Give me tape. Like, why am I not seeing tape? I want to see him play. Why are you keeping Garoppolo? I’m just very suspicious when you keep selling me something.”

As for Garoppolo, the 49ers still hope to trade the veteran quarterback. They haven’t been able to do so because Garoppolo is coming off shoulder surgery, which halted all trade talks.

“Nothing’s changed since his surgery,” Shanahan told reporters last week. “You know where we were at before that, and then he got surgery, so everything went on hold. I expect him, at some time, most likely, to be traded, but who knows? That’s not a guarantee, and it’s been on hold [since] that happened.”