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2021 NFL Draft Preview: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance

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If you are just a casual college football fan, there is a chance that Trey Lance is the best player that you have never heard of.  Lance held his second pro day in Fargo yesterday. NFL scouts from the 49ers, Falcons, Broncos, and Patriots showed up to get another look at the supremely talented young quarterback (nfl.com).  

Since North Dakota State competes at the FCS level and not against powerhouse college programs, many folks question Lance’s true ability as a signal caller.  However, even with that amount of uncertainty, Lance is still expected to be drafted somewhere in the top ten selections when April 29 rolls around.  Keep reading for a closer look at Trey Lance and why he may be the best kept secret in this year’s NFL Draft.

Recap of Lance’s College Career

Lance grew up in Minnesota and always dreamed of playing quarterback for the University of Minnesota.  However, the Golden Gophers wanted Lance to move to either wide receiver or corner.  Lance was bound and determined to be a college QB so he chose North Dakota State as his college destination.

Lance is kind of a relative unknown because he only played one full season of college football.  This was no fault of his own because in 2018 he took a redshirt year and in 2020 the Bison only played one ballgame (an exhibition) due to the pandemic.  However, the full season Lance played in 2019 was purely dynamic!  The 6-4 226 pounder put up NFL level stats that year as he threw for 28 touchdowns and ran for another 14 scores (sports-reference.com).

Current NFL Scouting Report on Lance

Here are a few of the reasons why Lance is projected to be such a high first-round draft pick.

  • Poise-  Lance is remarkably poised in the pocket especially for a young 20-year old.  He does not panic under pressure and seems to relish facing a tough blitz.
  • Mobility-  Lance can beat teams with either his arm or his legs.  He has been clocked in the 40 at around 4.5 seconds on many occasions and may be the most mobile QB in the 2021 Draft.
  • Takes care of the Football-  Lance does a great job of NOT turning the football over.  In fact, Lance did not even throw an official interception in his college career.  (Side note:  Lance did throw a pick in 2020 but that game was considered an exhibition)
  • Big, Thick Build- Lance has the body type that can take the brutal hits at the NFL level.  Many scouts believe that Lance will end up being around 240-250 pounds with a couple more years in the weight room.  If that indeed happens, Lance will be a nightmare to tackle for all opposing defenders.

What NFL team will draft Lance?

It seems as if everyone does their own version of a mock draft these days.  Many of these mocks have Lance going as high as #3 to the Niners or as low as #15 to the Patriots.  

We think that the Falcons make the most sense to draft Lance with the #4 selection.  The ‘Dirty-Birds’ need to find a successor to eventually replace veteran QB Matt Ryan.  Lance would be the perfect fit to learn behind Ryan for a couple of seasons before taking over the starting job in Atlanta.

 

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