Where will North Dakota State’s Trey Lance be chosen among the highest quarterbacks within the 2021 NFL Draft? That’s one in every of most the compelling first-round questions on the board.
With Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence set to go to the Jaguars at No. 1 total and BYU’s Zach Wilson beginning to settle in because the consensus No. 2 QB prospect, Lance has the potential to go anytime beginning at No. 4 total and someday earlier than No. 20 total. It would shock nobody if Lance is the third QB taken. It additionally would shock nobody if he’s the fifth QB taken.
Given the fluctuating draft inventory of Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones, that additional complicates the place Lance shall be picked. Lance is the traditional high-upside prospect who attracts many groups but in addition is low on expertise, which ought to detract just a few groups.
We’ve ranked the seven NFL groups which are the best bets to land Lance, ordered by how effectively he fits their scheme and group:
Trey Lance’s best fits in 2021 NFL Draft
1. San Francisco 49ers (No. 12 total)
The 49ers say they’re sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo because the starter, however that circumstance can change in a rush, given they nonetheless have a positive contract out. They can commerce him and not using a June designation to get $23.6 million in cap reduction whereas dropping solely $2.8 million in useless cash. Should they decide to both exchange Garoppolo or stash Lance to succeed Garoppolo in 2022, this could be worthy choose ought to Lance drop exterior of the highest 10.
There are some limitations with Garoppolo in Kyle Shanahan’s offense as he is not the best pure deep ball thrower and may’t declare to have the identical dynamic operating aspect Lance can present. Garoppolo works effectively inside the QB-friendly system, however sturdiness has been a difficulty and he has possible already hit his stable ceiling going into his age 30 season. Lance will flip 21 solely on May 9. Putting Lance with Shanahan is certain to develop his upside rapidly.
2. New England Patriots (No. 15 total)
The Patriots must be taking a quarterback and the one motive they may be compelled out of 1 within the first spherical is that if Fields, Lance and Jones all get chosen earlier than their flip, together with a group buying and selling up forward of them to finish the run. Jones has been tied to the Patriots due to Bill Belichick’s affinity for prime Alabama prospects from buddy Nick Saban. In actuality, Lance due to his dual-threat upside and versatile mind-set/talent set, could be the higher selection.
New England hinted at wanting a special model of QB by including Cam Newton late as a starter in 2020. Josh McDaniels would work higher with a clean canvas and Lance has the work ethic and smarts to soak up the system effectively in a extra common offseason.
3. Carolina Panthers (No. 8 total)
The Panthers have failed to cover the very fact they want to improve from Teddy Bridgewater. At the identical, time additionally must be considerably snug utilizing him as true bridge QB for at the very least a part of one other season if wanted, given their rebuilding mode. Carolina should weigh Fields vs. Jones vs. Lance and should be ready for somebody buying and selling as much as both No. 6 (Eagles) or No. 7 (Lions) to seize a most well-liked possibility forward of it.
Fields or Lance makes extra sense than Jones due to mobility and athleticism being an additional worthwhile asset in Joe Brady’s offense. Fields is the extra polished passer and runner popping out of the pro-favorable scheming of Ryan Day, whereas Lance stands out due to his stronger arm and pure downfield accuracy. The Panthers’ system is favorable to make both passer thrive with the best growth and that QB beng devoted to taking in all of the wanted teaching.
4. Washington Football Team (No. 19 total)
WFT hasn’t completely separated from Carolina with its considering, led by the previous Panthers mixture of Ron Rivera and Scott Turner. With Alex Smith not returning, Washington, if it could possibly’t be positioned to draft a QB within the first spherical, could be trying at settling for a special veteran bridge or letting a contest between former younger Panthers Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke dictate who begins.
The query is whether or not Lance would fall a little bit or if Washington has the capability and willingness to maneuver a number of spots to get him. Should he be accessible for every time WFT finally ends up selecting, Lance could be a no brainer later than anticipated.
5. Denver Broncos (No. 9 total)
The Broncos are the group taking Lance in Sporting News’ newest mock draft as they’ve set free extra lukewarm emotions about third-year QB Drew Lock. John Elway has handed the ultimate decision-making to new GM George Paton, who must be contemplating pushing for an awesome ceiling on the place. But Lance, with bodily instruments that remind him of him, ought to have nice enchantment to Elway has the long-awaited extra thrilling QB resolution.
The Broncos may use assist defensively with the sting rush and secondary, however offense stays a large query mark due to Lock. Should Lance final previous the Panthers, Denver has many good causes to take him for Vic Fangio and Pat Shurmur.
6. Minnesota Vikings (No. 14 total)
The Vikings are locked into Kirk Cousins for another season due to final yr’s extension, however they’ve a positive out forward of 2022, after they can burn $10 million in useless cash for $35 million in cap reduction. That’s additionally when Cousins will flip 34.
Lance, a Minnesota native, would love going 235 miles southeast of Fargo to play professionally in Minneapolis, or 153 miles from the place he performed highschool soccer in Marshall, Minn. In this example, the Vikings may use 2021 to work on creating Lance’s upside, hoping it turns into a Smith-to-Patrick Mahomes scenario for them in Year 2. Lance’s athleticism and accuracy would make him an awesome slot in Klint Kubiak’s traditional West Coast offense, too.
7. Chicago Bears (No. 20 total)
The Bears have been connected to potential trades for each Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. Before then, there was some thought they might need one other former NDSU QB, Carson Wentz. The backside line is, Chicago is cap-strapped to the purpose even re-signing Mitchell Trubisky is hard and is now dealing with the potential of being caught with Nick Foles because the starter.
Knowing that, the Bears ought to hope that both Jones or Lance falls to them within the second half of the primary spherical. But in the event that they need to be a little bit aggressive, figuring out Washington wants a QB, too, forward of them, they will goal one of many non-QB selecting groups from Nos. 10 by means of 13 (Cowboys, Giants, 49ers, Chargers) for a commerce up. Remember that Ryan Pace did make a giant transfer to get Trubisky at No. 2 in 2017, despite the fact that that did not pan out. Those slots could be necessary as a result of it additionally would enable Chicago to leap Minnesota and New England.
Should Fields come off the board on the finish of the highest 10 behind Lawrence and Wilson, then the Bears must also attempt to get Lance as a substitute of Jones.