2021 NFL Draft Profile: Trey Lance

Trey Lance NFL Draft

Trey Lance NFL Draft Overview
Position
: Quarterback
Height: 6’-3”
Weight: 224 pounds
School: North Dakota State

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2021 NFL Draft: Trey Lance Player Profile

Thanks to COVID-19, Trey Lance never had the opportunity to build on his massively successful 2019 campaign. The North Dakota State Bisons cancelled their 2020 season, leaving Lance to play in just one game after his breakout year. However, even with the shortened season, the Minnesota native decided that he had enough film to go pro, bypassing his final two years of collegiate eligibility and declaring for the NFL Draft.

A three-star recruit out of high school, Lance was one of the most athletically gifted players in the state of Minnesota. In fact, he was so talented that some programs didn’t want him to play quarterback at the collegiate level. Lance reportedly came very close to committing to Minnesota, but first-year head coach P.J. Fleck envisioned Lance as a safety. Eventually, the quarterback committed to North Dakota State, and the rest is history.

After redshirting his way through the 2018 season, Lance finally earned a chance to start in 2019. Lance was up for the challenge, completing 67% of his passes for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Additionally, he added another 1,110 rushing yards with 14 touchdowns on 169 rushing attempts. His fantastic season earned him First-Team All-MVFC honors, as well as a spot on STATS FCS First-Team All-American list.

Strengths

  • Blessed with an absolute cannon of an arm – there is no throw he doesn’t have the potential to make;
  • Knows how to read a defense and keep the ball out of harms’ way – no interceptions in 2019;
  • Not afraid to stretch the field and challenge defenses vertically;
  • Quick release – not much wasted effort in throwing motion;
  • Legitimate running threat with speed and size;
  • Could be a battering ram in short yardage/red zone situations.

Weaknesses

  • Accuracy comes and goes – needs to improve ball placement consistency;
  • Only averaged 18 pass attempts per game in 2019 – unclear how he would perform in clear passing situations;
  • Only one season of tape to evaluate;
  • Not an anticipation thrower and sometimes trusts his legs too much;
  • Sometimes trusts his arm too much and doesn’t set his feet;
  • Absolutely atrocious performance during his lone game in 2020.

NFL Comparison: Cam Newton

Teams With Need at Position: New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos

Projection: Top-15 pick

Bottom Line on Trey Lance

Trey Lance is a love/hate prospect, depending on what you value in a quarterback. If you like quarterbacks with the potential to make plays on their own and do anything at any given moment, then Lance is the quarterback for you. His arm strength is second to none, and he isn’t afraid to go out there and sling it. Additionally, he’s probably the most dangerous runner of all the top quarterback prospects and is a big-play threat every time he touches the ball.

However, if you prefer the old-school style of quarterback that doesn’t win or lose games on his own, then Lance probably isn’t your cup of tea. The quarterback is very erratic as a passer and, while he doesn’t put the ball in harm’s way, he is prone to missing a few easy passes. Additionally, there are times where he’ll pass up the “safe” underneath option to take his shot at a big play, whether with his legs or his arms.

Ultimately, Lance is a boom-or-bust prospect that will either be a top-10 or bottom-10 starting quarterback. There is a very real chance that his style of play simply won’t translate to the NFL, but his upside makes him well worth the risk in the first round. There is nothing more valuable in today’s NFL than a great starting quarterback on a rookie contract, and Lance has the potential to develop into that coveted asset. In a perfect world, Lance will spend 2021 learning the ropes behind an established veteran before taking over in 2022.

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