The Future: 2021 NFL Draft Prospects Trey Lance
Trey Lance is one of the more intriguing prospects in the NFL Draft. A quarterback out of North Dakota State University, which is in the FCS. The same college that Carson Wentz attended. The level of competition is automatically a concern when looking at any prospect out of an FCS school and this doesn't change with Lance. He is going to be a project quarterback in my opinion with the similar skill set of Josh Allen with a great arm, very athletic and mobile, with questionable accuracy. A team in the first round, and potentially a top team pick is going to risk an investment on Lance. Below I will go more into his accuracy, his poise, his decision-making, his arm strength, and his ability to extend plays.
Accuracy- This is the biggest question mark in Lance's game. He is very inconsistent, to say the least. He will make some throws that are jaw-dropping and make you have to pause and re-watch how he can drop throws into receivers hands and then he will make throws where he misses wide-open receivers that leave you shaking your head. This is to all levels of the field but is most evident to the intermediate and deep areas of the field. This is something that teams will need to take into consideration when drafting him. Whoever does end up drafting him will need to work with him on this day in and day out, staying patient, with the hopes of him turning into a Josh Allen where he was able to go from one of the most inaccurate throwers to becoming very consistent with his accuracy.
Poise- Lance's poise in every aspect of the game is very good. When standing in the pocket under pressure he doesn't seem to panic and he is willing to stand in and make throws while taking hits. His pocket awareness is solid as he has shown the ability to feel pressure from behind him and avoid rushers to keep plays alive. He has played in an FCS national championship and was able to stay calm and win the game, although he only threw the ball ten times he was able to stay poised throughout the entire game.
Decision Making- This is one of Lance's best traits. When just looking at the numbers he only has one career interception as well as breaking an NCAA record for most consecutive attempts without throwing an interception with 287. Sometimes his ability to escape the pocket and his mobility leads to him holding the ball too long and taking sacks. Lance takes care of the ball, doesn't turn it over, and makes the right read. Although the offensive scheme at NDSU was fantastic and often didn't lead to Lance having to come off of his 1st read Lance has shown the capability of getting to his 2nd or 3rd read as well as his check down.
Arm Strength- His arm strength is very good and has always been very good. He throws a very catchable football on all routes and has shown the arm strength to throw from the hash to the opposite sideline with ease. He has the zip in his ball to fit it into tight windows as well as push the ball down the field.
Extend Plays- This is by far his best trait. In the FCS championship game, he ran the ball 30 times for 166 yards and a touchdown. He can go off-script in the passing game to extend plays and run the ball when escaping the pocket or he can be asked to be an asset in the run game on designed quarterback runs and options. His athletic ability is elite and the way he runs is similar to a Cam Newton with a combination of size, speed, and strength. In terms of this trait, he is arguably the most NFL ready prospect as he not only can extend the play consistently but when he does he takes care of the ball and that will translate well to the next level once he can adjust to the speed and athletes at the next level.
Trey Lance is the biggest boom or bust prospect in this draft. If all goes well his combination of arm strength, athletic ability, and decision making could lead to him becoming a future star at the quarterback position. But on the other hand, if he isn't able to improve upon his accuracy he could end up being a wasted investment of a first-round pick, this will all come down to how well a team can develop him and surround him with talent.