2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Trey Lance
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: North Dakota State has dominated the FCS, ripping off a string of National Championships. The Bison have produced a lot of good NFL talent, including Philadelphia Eagles franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, and Lance could continue that tradition in the 2021 NFL Draft. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Lance led the Bison to an undefeated season and another National Championship. He produced a huge year, completing 67 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns - with zero interceptions. He also ran for 1,100 yards and picked up 14 rushing touchdowns - his rushing yardage was actually much larger, but college football deducts sack yardage from a quarterback's rushing totals.
North Dakota State played only one game in 2020 due to COVID-19 limitations, and Lance looked rusty against Central Arkansas, but he also flashed his big-time skill set. Lance completed 15-of-30 passes in 2020 for 149 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also turned 15 carries into 143 yards and two touchdowns.
From a skill set perspective, Lance fits in with other recent first-round prospects. His size, arm strength, running ability, and big-play potential are in line with other recent first-round picks such as Pat Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen and Jordan Love.
As a passer, Lance definitely has next-level ability. He has a strong arm capable of making all the throws for the pro level. Lance shows the ability to fire fastballs to the sideline and has no problem airing out deep balls. Overall, Lance has good accuracy, and his deep-ball precision is very impressive. He consistently lofts passes downfield to lead his receivers over the top of coverage. Lance also shows the ability to function in the quick passing game in the short part of the field, firing some bullets to move the ball.
One of Lance's impressive traits from 2019, especially for such a young player, was his poise. Lance is very calm in the pocket, and when rush is closing around him, it seems to be a non-factor to him. He will use his legs to buy time and does a nice job of keeping his eyes downfield. When he can't dodge tacklers, he can rely on his big frame to help him shake defenders free. Lance displayed amazing pocket presence as a redshirt freshman.
The poise plays into Lance making good decisions and protecting the football. He had some breaks go his way in 2019, and he would have thrown some interceptions if he had made some of the same throws in the NFL, or at a higher level of college football, but overall, he does a nice job of placing his passes where his receivers can make a play and is not reckless with the football.
The mobility factors into Lance being a dangerous threat on the ground. His running ability jumps off the screen. Lance is a hard-charging runner who shows quickness and a burst to hit the hole, plus he is a load to tackle. Lance regularly would lower a shoulder and flat out run over defenders. He could be a running dual threat quarterback at the next level. As a pro, Lance should run less than he does in college, and that is something that will have to be coached out of him to reduce his risk of injury.
Lance is a very young player, playing just one game as a redshirt sophomore in 2020, so it isn't surprising that he has some raw elements to his game and needs development. The most pressing issue to address is field vision. Lance has issues seeing the field, as he can lock onto his primary read, take off running when his first read is covered, and be slow to look off and work through his progressions. Lance has to speed up the process for looking through his potential targets in the NFL. At North Dakota State, Lance had receivers running wide open a lot as well. For the next level, he will need to get more comfortable throwing into tight windows. He flashes that ability, but given his level of competition, tight-window comfort is something that will probably need to work on at the pro level.
Lance has the talent to be a good NFL starter, but given his lack of playing time and development, his pro team will need to be patient in order to not waste the raw talent that Lance possesses.
Player Comparison: Josh Allen. Lance has a unique style of play and is a tough player to compare. He reminds evaluators of Josh Allen at times, but Lance doesn't have Allen's size. Lance is like a shorter version of Allen in that they have similar styles of play and are coming to the NFL from a lower level of collegiate competition. If Lance pans out in the NFL, I could see him being a quarterback similar to Allen.
2021 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie's | Walt's
2021 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings
2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
2023 NFL Mock Draft - March 28
2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 19
NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 17
NFL Picks - Feb. 14
Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 7
© 1999-2023 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
2 5 9
2 5 9