Trey Lance of North Dakota State University is the biggest question mark of the 2021 NFL draft. The 20 year old Lance was born and raised in Marshall, Minnesota and had dreams of committing and playing quarterback for the university of Minnesota. After attending a high school recruiting event in 2017 he was not considered a quarterback prospect for Minnesota or any other power 5 schools.
Instead he had offers to join as a linebacker, defensive back, and even wide receiver. A determined Lance knew what he wanted to play and that was quarterback. He stayed determined, patient and finally got an offer to play quarterback but at NDSU in December of 2017 which he accepted.
The 2018 season he got to sit and learn behind Easton Stick (2019 Rd. 5 Chargers draft pick) and got to acquire knowledge about the pro style offense of the NDSU Bisons. Lance didn't have much playing time and only rushed for two touchdowns on the season but 2019 was the year Trey Lance made a name for himself.
As a redshirt freshman Lance led the Bison to an undefeated season and a FCS championship. Lance racked up the awards as he won the Walter Payton award which is given to the most valuable player in the FCS division. Lance also took home the Jerry Rice award which is given to the best offensive player in the FCS division. Lance at 6’4 225 lbs was an offensive machine.
2786 Passing yards
28 TD Passes
1,100 Rushing Yards
14 Rushing TDs
After a season like that NFL scouts took notice and the Trey Lance hype began. As the 2020 football season approached and as mock draft season began, some had Lance possibly pushing Lawrence and Fields for the top quarterback in the 2021 draft.
Unfortunately due to COVID the 2020 FCS football season was ultimately cancelled but they made an exception, and allowed one playable showcase game for Lance. That one game would be against Central Arkansas which everyone had the date circled to watch. That game was very up and down for Lance as a passer but he took over the game with his legs.
15/30 149 Passing Yards
2 Passing TDs
FIRST CAREER INTERCEPTION
143 Rushing yards
2 Rushing TDs
This game left scouts and NFL personnel unsure of the once freshman phenom. Trey had a tough decision ahead of him. To declare, return, or possibly enter the transfer portal. After long conversations with his parents, coaches, teammates, and even his little brother, Trey decided to take the next step and take his talents to the NFL and declare for the draft at only 20 years old. Since declaring Lance has sought out the services of longtime QB coach and elite 11 counselman Quincy Avery to prepare for his pro day.
Avery in an interview as a guest on Chris Collinsworth show had this to say about Lance.
“Trey Lance can be an all pro quarterback for a number of years.” Very high praise for someone who has coached Deshaun Watson, Cam Newton, and Jalen Hurts.
Lance held his first pro day throwing session in front of 30 NFL teams on March 12. Lance completed 58 of his 66 attempts during the workout, and got to show his big time arm and athleticism. After the first pro day, Trey then decided to conduct a second pro day on April 19th but this time it was run by ex NFL QB John Beck. Why make a switch of coaching you ask? Well it was at Kyle Shanahan's request. Beck, who's now a QB coach, worked with Shanahan in Washington when he was the offensive coordinator there. The two remain close and with the 49ers trading up to the number 3 pick, Beck's word means a lot. Trey Lance's ideal situation would be to learn behind a vet while he learns and matures, so San Francisco makes sense as a landing spot. Rumors are all over the place with Lance and at just 20 years old with only 17 career games started in college he's one of if not the riskiest prospect.
Who will take a chance on this young raw prospect? We’ll find out April 29th in Cleveland.