Clemson's Trevor Lawrence is regarded as the likely No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. If another quarterback beats him out for that honor, it will likely be Ohio State's Justin Fields.
However, NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, thinks there is a third quarterback who deserves some more attention: North Dakota State's Trey Lance.
Last season, Lance passed for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions in 15 games, leading the Bison to the FCS national title. He also rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. Sure, Lance wasn't playing at the highest level of Division I football, but those stats are ridiculous.
In a recent episode of the Ryen Russillo Podcast, Jeremiah explained that in his film study of Lance, Lawrence and Fields, the NDSU product was the most "impressive" of the three.
Via 247 Sports:
"Off a snapshot of three games, I watched Trevor Lawrence, I watched Justin Fields and I watched Trey Lance, and trust me I came in with the idea that it would be Lawrence, a big gap then Fields and then a huge gap and Trey Lance,” Jeremiah said. “And then I watched it. Off these three games, you remove decals off helmets, I came away saying Trey Lance was the most impressive of the three guys.”
There's precedence in a small-school quarterback like Lance being picked highly in the draft and being successful in the league.
Keep in mind, Carson Wentz went No. 2 overall out of North Dakota State in 2016. By his second season, he was playing at an MVP-level before getting hurt.
“There's a maturity to the way he plays the game,” Jeremiah said pf Lance. “He takes the layups that are there. He's selectively aggressive ... when he gets his shots he takes them. When I saw the no turnovers, I was like, ‘maybe this guy is just a check-down Charlie,’ but no — he fits balls in tight windows. He can drive the football. They used him on the designed QB-run game like they did with Carson Wentz. They'll run QB power. They boot him, so he's accurate, and to both sides … I wrote in my notes several times, ‘this kid has so much confidence and trusts his eyes.’ When he sees it, boom, the ball is gone and it's right where it needs to be.
“So vision-wise I thought he was better than both Lawrence and Fields. Decision-making wise, he's better than the other two guys. All three of them are really good athletes in their own way, so I don't feel like I'm sacrificing any of that. And I'm getting someone with everything, but without all of the hang ups.”
Assuming the 2020 season goes off as scheduled, Lance and the Bison are slated to open the year up at Oregon.
There will be plenty of scouts and NFL executives with their eyes glued to that game to see how the dynamic signal caller looks against a topflight foe.