Updated May 7, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
The 2021 NFL Draft is a long way away, but already there are questions about the quarterback class beyond the highly touted stars of Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. has projected North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance as a top-10 pick, and Lance could be the favorite to be the consensus third-rated quarterback. In speaking to some team sources who have seen Lance in person while scouting North Dakota State, they feel the potential is there for Lance, but they need to see more before feeling he is worthy of being a high first-round pick.
"I think he's a very good player, but at that position, I'm a firm believer in body of work and he has a very small sample size at this point," said a national scout. "He's got tools to work, and he's not the first young pup to be pushed up. Every year there's someone, but we have to let it play out."
The 2019 season was Lance's first year of playing time, and he produced a huge year, completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Lance is listed at 6-foot-3, 221 pounds, and sources say he has a good skill set of physical tools. Scouts say they need to see more from Lance and are wary of a 1-year wonder situation.
"Recent history has not been kind to the 1-year-wonder surge guys. It has not been ideal for the picks of guys like Mitch Trubisky, Blake Bortles, Dwayne Haskins, DeShone Kizer, Paxton Lynch, etc. At [Lance's] level of competition, you definitely want to have more than good season. I like him though, but not ready to crown him just yet."
The success of former Bison quarterback Carson Wentz, could help pave the way for Lance to be a high draft pick. But as the scout said above, teams want to see more in 2020 before they anoint Lance as a high first-round talent for the 2021 NFL Draft.