X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Gain Access Now

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

Trey Lance - 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The Super Bowl is in the books, which means it's officially draft season! The NFL Draft Prospect Profile Series will feature prominent 2021 NFL Draft prospects with film analysis and scouting insights. I have experience working in college football and have been studying the NFL Draft for over 15 years. My analysis is based on film study and analytics.

A common misconception about the NFL Draft is that the college and pro games are very similar. They are not. Besides the obvious difference in speed and skill level, a college field has different hash mark distances and different rules. There are specific schemes and plays that NFL teams copy from college and vice versa. But the differences between the two are understated in NFL Draft coverage. There's a reason many highly-productive college players are not considered legitimate professionals.

To that end, scouting prospects is not about evaluating college performance, it’s about projecting traits that translate to the next level. This is not limited to just physical traits. There are certain football traits that are evident in college film and will translate to the pro game. For example, a wide receiver being able to get in and out of breaks efficiently will not change from college to pro. On the flip side, an edge rusher who got most of his sacks due to hustle or missed offensive line assignments may not have shown translatable traits on film. We will continue our draft coverage this year with a look at my QB2 in a special QB class, North Dakota State's Trey Lance.

Featured Promo: Looking for some fantasy football action? Join a dynasty startup league over at FFPC. Sign up today and get $25 off any FFPC league. FFPC is the leader in dynasty leagues and has standard, superflex and best ball formats. Dynasty not your thing? No worries, FFPC has Best Ball leagues as well. Join A League Today!

 

Trey Lance: Profile

Trey Lance is one of the most unique QB prospects ever, having started just one year at North Dakota State. He led his team to a 16-0 record and FCS National Championship in 2019, accounting for 3,886 total yards and 42 total touchdowns with zero interceptions. A powerful runner, Lance is a dual-threat in the Cam Newton mold, and actually attempted just 10 passes in the 2019 FCS National Championship game against James Madison.

There are legitimate question marks and red flags regarding Lance's pro prospects. Is he good enough as a passer? Why did he play the worst game of his career in his only game of 2020?  Can he make the jump in level of competition from the FCS all the way to the NFL?

All of these questions are legitimate, but scouting players for the NFL draft is more about projecting translatable traits than anything else. And make no mistake, Lance possesses every trait teams look for in an NFL QB.

It starts with his size, standing at an ideal 6-4, 226. His physical traits are that of a first overall pick, with the strongest arm in this class and tremendous explosiveness and athleticism. Physically, there is no question Lance would have stood out in the FBS. Jumping all the way to the NFL is a different animal, of course, but Jeremy Chinn, Darius Leonard, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, and Janoris Jenkins all transitioned from FCS to the NFL seamlessly, in large part due to elite athleticism.

The FCS-to-NFL jump has also been made by many successful QBs. Carson Wentz has had a tumultuous start to his pro career, but Tony Romo, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Joe Flacco, among others, have all enjoyed substantial success in the NFL.

I also believe the public underrates FCS football in general. FCS players are still scholarship athletes. Go watch an FCS practice and you're still seeing some of the top football players in the world develop their talents.

 

Decisiveness

It is extremely difficult to evaluate QBs. It's even more difficult without meeting the player and talking football on the whiteboard. When scouting QBs, I try to judge mental processing and a player's understanding of football concepts, as well as instincts. There is an incredible amount of projection involved with college QBs transitioning to a professional system. While watching the film, I ask myself if there is anything this player does that would help him in that transition. Conversely, if a QB is slow in making decisions (even if the result of the play is positive) or shows a misunderstanding of certain coverage concepts, it's fair to question how quickly he can improve.

Coincidentally, I remember scouting Carson Wentz in 2016 and noting that he was frequently a tad late on many decisions. Being even slightly late in the slower game gave me pause about his transition to the faster NFL. The clip below is an example of Wentz locking on to one receiver and being late, throwing into heavy traffic (yes, the TE made an amazing catch).

Trey Lance did not play in a complicated system at North Dakota State. He will surely have to learn a lot more about the scheme at the next level. But what I loved about his film is that he was very decisive. He displayed a command of his offense that led him to confidently decide where he wanted to go with the ball quickly on almost every play. That internal clock is important, and something Wentz has struggled with as a pro. Lance will be better prepared to adjust to the speed of the NFL if his decisiveness translates.

The clip below shows Lance quickly diagnose the coverage, understand there is no flat defender, come off his first read, and decisively deliver the ball to the outside receiver with good timing.

Lance's decisiveness also impacts his mechanics. He usually gets his lower half involved, which leads to high velocity throws and rainbow-like deep balls. His placement isn't consistently perfect, but it's adequate. We've recently seen two similarly physically-gifted QBs in Josh Allen and Justin Herbert improve placement after being drafted.

The clip below highlights all of the good and one of the concerns about Lance. He looks off the safety and delivers a strike to his TE. Even though it might be a better decision to hit the back in the flat, Lance doesn't second-guess himself and completes the high pass. But is the ball placement perfect? Probably not, as an NFL corner would almost surely undercut it. He also shows the ability to stand in the pocket and take a hit without dropping his eyes.

While his decisiveness is a positive, it can also get him into trouble sometimes. The clip below shows him deliver a laser right to the 1-high safety.

It's worth noting that this inexplicable decision (the only interception of his career) came in his only game of 2020. He also came back to the sideline and encouraged his TE after the play, displaying leadership and communication skills.

 

Translatable Traits

While Lance's offensive system wasn't overly complex, there are some translatable traits that other prospects don't have film of.  For example, ball-handling is an underrated aspect of QB play, and other QBs in this class played almost exclusively from the shotgun. In North Dakota State's offense, Lance ran a lot of under-center play-action and bootlegs in addition to operating in the shotgun.

The clip below is an example of Lance understanding coverages. In the first play, Lance decides to give the ball to his RB while taking a mental picture of how the defense is playing to the field. On the very next play, he makes the choice to take his field hitch for an easy gain instead of reading the boundary three-man route combo.

No team is going to draft Lance without the intention of utilizing his mobility. Expect the team that drafts him to use plenty of bootlegs and QB run-game. Mobile QBs will always have durability concerns, but Lance is solidly built at 6-4, 226. The clip below highlights his running ability.

Lance's rushing ability is not what makes him such a great prospect.  He is not one of those RB-playing-QB types. Lance has a terrific arm, as evidenced by the clip below.

 

NFL Outlook

Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones all played full or near-full seasons in 2020. All four balled out and helped their respective draft stocks in various ways. Meanwhile, Trey Lance played one game and had the worst performance in his career. This is impacting the draft community's evaluations of the top-five QBs and making Lance an afterthought. Without digging into the film, it's easy to write off a QB with the narratives that follow him.

I believe NFL teams will value him as a clear top-10 prospect with a chance to go in the top-five. He is my QB2, not that far behind Lawrence, and has all the traits teams want in a franchise QB. In a typical year without the pandemic or the possibly all-time-great QB class, Lance would be considered as the first overall pick. He's that talented.

All college QBs must improve when they get to the NFL, but Lance's film shows the mental acuity and under-center ball-handling skills that give him a leg up on the competition. I'll leave you with a reminder that the "level of competition" argument works both ways. Is an NFL receiver dropping this perfect deep ball? Say, Julio Jones, D.J. Moore, or Jerry Jeudy?

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more prospect profiles and other NFL Draft content.



Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy football app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, rankings, starts/sits & more. All free!




Win More With RotoBaller

Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

More NFL Rookie Analysis




POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

REAL-TIME FANTASY NEWS

Tyler O'Neill5 hours ago

Homers Twice Monday
Kyle Schwarber5 hours ago

Hits A Pair Of Two-Run Homers Monday
Josh Berry6 hours ago

Grabs Another Top-10 Finish At Iowa
Ricky Stenhouse Jr6 hours ago

. Delivers Massive Day For DFS Managers
Ryan Blaney6 hours ago

Secures Spot In Playoffs With Iowa Win
Hurston Waldrep7 hours ago

Shut Down For A Week
William Contreras7 hours ago

Avoids Concussion
NASCAR7 hours ago

Daniel Suárez Inches Up To Ninth Place Sunday
Gavin Williams7 hours ago

To Make Another Rehab Start Friday
Brad Keselowski7 hours ago

Holds On To Top-10 Finish At Iowa
Wilyer Abreu8 hours ago

To Begin Rehab Assignment Tuesday
8 hours ago

Athletics Designate J.D. Davis For Assignment
LaMonte Wade Jr.8 hours ago

Unlikely To Return Thursday
Mike Tauchman8 hours ago

Has Groin Tightness
David Hamilton8 hours ago

Exits With Side Discomfort
Amari Cooper8 hours ago

Andrew Berry: Amari Cooper "A Big Part Of Our Team"
Deshaun Watson9 hours ago

"Really Actually Ahead Of Schedule"
Blake Snell9 hours ago

To Throw Sim Game On Tuesday
Ladd McConkey9 hours ago

Signs Rookie Deal
Joe Musgrove9 hours ago

To Throw This Week
Yu Darvish9 hours ago

To Make Rehab Start On Wednesday
Christian Encarnacion-Strand9 hours ago

Moved To 60-Day Injured List
Dylan Crews9 hours ago

Promoted To Triple-A
James Wood10 hours ago

Expected To Start Playing In Games This Week
José Soriano10 hours ago

Jose Soriano Scratched With Abdominal Pain
Mookie Betts10 hours ago

Officially Goes On IL, Out 6-8 Weeks
Yimi García10 hours ago

Yimi Garcia Put On 15-Day Injured List
William Contreras10 hours ago

Not Playing On Monday
Rory McIlroy10 hours ago

Withdraws From Travelers Championship
Anthony Rizzo10 hours ago

Could Miss 4-6 Weeks With Fractured Arm
Tyler Reddick10 hours ago

Unlucky at Iowa, but Still a Relative Non-Factor Before That
Kyle Larson10 hours ago

Made Electrifying Charge Through Field at Iowa Until Late Race Crash
Denny Hamlin10 hours ago

Inexplicably Slow in Inaugural Iowa Race
Christopher Bell10 hours ago

the Sole Bright Spot for Toyota at Iowa
Klay Thompson11 hours ago

Open To All "External Options"
Martin Truex Jr14 hours ago

. Finishes One Lap Down In 15th At Iowa
Chase Elliott14 hours ago

Obtains A Great Finish Of Third At Iowa
Joey Logano14 hours ago

Finishes Sixth In The Iowa Corn 350
Alex Bowman14 hours ago

Rallies Through The Field To Finish Eighth At Iowa
William Byron15 hours ago

Exceeds Value In DFS At Iowa
Brandon Aiyuk15 hours ago

49ers Don't Want Brandon Aiyuk Back?
Tatsuro Taira16 hours ago

Remains Undefeated
Alex Perez16 hours ago

Unable To Continue After Suffering A Knee Injury
Garrett Armfield17 hours ago

Submitted At UFC Vegas 93
Brady Hiestand17 hours ago

Gets Third-Round Submission Win
Jose Johnson17 hours ago

Drops Decision At UFC Vegas 93
MMA17 hours ago

Asu Almbayev Extends Win Streak
NBA20 hours ago

Monty Williams Set To Remain With Pistons
Collin Sexton20 hours ago

Could Be On The Move Again
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope20 hours ago

Nuggets "Concerned" Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Will Decline His Player Option
Harrison Barnes21 hours ago

Kevin Huerter And Harrison Barnes Expected To Be Available On Trade Market
NBA21 hours ago

Mario Hezonja Linked With Return To NBA
Andre Drummond21 hours ago

Reportedly Looking For New Team
Jonas Valanciunas1 day ago

Pelicans Likely To "Move On" From Jonas Valanciunas
Jarrett Allen1 day ago

Pelicans Reportedly Interested In Jarrett Allen
Pittsburgh Steelers1 day ago

Cameron Heyward Wants To Retire A Pittsburgh Steeler
Luka Doncic1 day ago

Expected To Play On Monday Night
Kristaps Porzingis1 day ago

Questionable For Game 5
Josh Quinlan2 days ago

Losing Streak Hits Three At UFC Vegas 93
Adam Fugitt2 days ago

Edges Out Split Decision At UFC Vegas 93
Timmy Cuamba2 days ago

Still Winless In The UFC
Lucas Almeida2 days ago

Pulls Off Upset At UFC Vegas 93
Douglas Silva de Andrade2 days ago

Falls Short At UFC Vegas 93
Miles Johns2 days ago

Picks Up Decision Win At UFC Vegas 93
Daniel Suarez2 days ago

Why You Should Fade Daniel Suarez In DFS This Weekend At Iowa
Corey Lajoie2 days ago

Should You Roster Corey Lajoie In DFS This Weekend?
Carson Hocevar2 days ago

Will Start 20th At Iowa Speedway
NASCAR2 days ago

Bubba Wallace Will Start 16th At Iowa Speedway
Michael McDowell2 days ago

Might Have A Positive Result At Iowa
Joey Logano2 days ago

Could Joey Logano Be A Sneaky Tournament Play At Iowa?
Justin Haley2 days ago

Consider Justin Haley A Great Value Pick For Iowa?
Dak Prescott2 days ago

May Command More In Contract Talks
NFL2 days ago

Stephon Gilmore Not In A Rush To Sign A Deal
Isaiah Hartenstein2 days ago

Drawing Interest From Several Teams
Jarace Walker2 days ago

Could Be On The Move
Jalen Smith2 days ago

"Early Belief" Jalen Smith Will Decline Player Option
Tee Higgins3 days ago

Signs His Franchise Tender
Jaylen Brown3 days ago

Has A Rough Night On Friday
Jayson Tatum3 days ago

Quiet In Game 4
Luka Doncic3 days ago

Leads Mavs To A Much-Needed Win
Kristaps Porzingis3 days ago

Available For Game 4
Mikal Bridges3 days ago

Nets Still Not Interested In Trading Mikal Bridges
Tyrese Haliburton3 days ago

Making Progress With Recovery
Jarrett Stidham4 days ago

Has The Advantage Over Bo Nix
Tim Patrick4 days ago

Looking Healthy This Offseason
Jayden Daniels4 days ago

Commanders Sign Jayden Daniels To Rookie Deal
Tatsuro Taira4 days ago

Looks To Win 16th Fight In A Row
Alex Perez4 days ago

An Underdog At UFC Vegas 93
Brady Hiestand4 days ago

Looking To Extend His Win Streak
Garrett Armfield4 days ago

A Favorite At UFC Vegas 93
Jose Johnson4 days ago

Looks To Win Back-To-Back Fights
MMA4 days ago

Asu Almbayev Looks To Win His Third UFC Fight In A Row
Breece Hall4 days ago

Jets Being Cautious With Breece Hall
Atlanta Hawks4 days ago

Hawks Potentially Eyeing Donovan Clingan In NBA Draft
Leon Draisaitl4 days ago

On First Three-Game Scoring Drought Since March 2020
Connor McDavid4 days ago

Finishes Game 3 Loss With Two Assists
Sam Bennett4 days ago

Extends Point Streak To Six Games
Vladimir Tarasenko4 days ago

Nets Fourth Postseason Goal
Sam Reinhart4 days ago

Ends Goal Drought During Multi-Point Effort
Aleksander Barkov4 days ago

Establishes New Panthers Record With Eighth Multi-Point Outing
Darius Slayton4 days ago

Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp
Cleveland Browns4 days ago

Myles Garrett Tweaks His Hamstring In Minicamp
Amari Cooper4 days ago

Holds Out Of Final Day Of Minicamp
Trevor Lawrence4 days ago

Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence Agree On Five-Year, $275 Million Extension
Alvin Kamara5 days ago

Skips Practice For Contract-Related Reasons
Courtland Sutton5 days ago

Hints At Training Camp Holdout
Gus Edwards5 days ago

"Likely" To Be Back For Training Camp
SJ5 days ago

Sharks Appoint Ryan Warsofsky As Head Coach
Jalen Chatfield5 days ago

Agrees To Three-Year Extension With Hurricanes
Kaapo Kakko5 days ago

Signs One-Year Extension With Rangers
Patrik Laine5 days ago

Poised To Move On From Columbus
Evan Rodrigues5 days ago

Promoted To First Line Thursday
Aleksander Barkov5 days ago

Will Play In Game 3 Versus Oilers
Juwan Johnson5 days ago

To Undergo Foot Surgery
Atlanta Falcons5 days ago

Falcons Lose 2025 Fifth-Round Pick Following Tampering Investigation
Josh Quinlan5 days ago

On Two-Fight Losing Streak
Adam Fugitt5 days ago

Could Be Fighting For His Job At UFC Vegas 93
Douglas Silva de Andrade5 days ago

Searching For 30th Career Win At UFC Vegas 93
Laurent Brossoit5 days ago

Maple Leafs Have "Mutual Interest"
Jaccob Slavin5 days ago

Working On Long-Term Extension With Hurricanes
Corey Perry5 days ago

Set To Re-Enter Oilers Lineup On Thursday
Evander Kane6 days ago

Uncertain For Thursday's Game 3
Darnell Nurse6 days ago

Expected To Play In Game 3
Aleksander Barkov6 days ago

Practices On Wednesday, Will Travel To Edmonton
Keegan Bradley6 days ago

A Sleeper Pick At U.S. Open
Rickie Fowler6 days ago

Tough To Trust At U.S. Open
Tom Kim6 days ago

Striking The Ball Well Heading To Pinehurst
Sahith Theegala6 days ago

A Major Wild Card At Pinehurst
Tony Finau6 days ago

Seeking First Major Victory At U.S. Open
Cameron Smith6 days ago

The Best LIV Bet For U.S. Open
Ludvig Aberg6 days ago

Trust Ludvig Aberg At Pinehurst
Xander Schauffele6 days ago

A Top-10 Lock At U.S. Open
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF

MORE RECENT ARTICLES

 

Late-Round Sleepers and Undervalued Picks for 2024 Fantasy Football

In every fantasy draft, managers focus heavily on their early-round picks. After all, these are the players who are going to lead your fantasy team. However, the late-round picks are just as important, especially if those "sleepers" turn out to be consistent fantasy options. Just look at the 2023 fantasy season, as several sleepers helped... Read More


Jaxon Smith-Njigba Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Ladd McConkey vs. Jaxon Smith-Njigba - Who Should I Draft in 2024 Fantasy Football?

Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Ladd McConkey are young wide receivers with unlimited upside. With Smith-Njigba playing in his second season and McConkey about to get his first taste of NFL action, they should have a long way to go in building successful pro football careers. Luckily, some great offensive minds can help them succeed. Smith-Njigba will... Read More


James Cook - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Players To Fade for Fantasy Football Best Ball Drafts Include Josh Jacobs, James Cook, Chris Olave, David Njoku, more

Fantasy football best ball drafts and contests continue to grow and grow each year. The number of tournaments and strategies deployed surrounding the format is exploding, which means we must stay sharp! Social media is filled with best ball builds and screenshots of different approaches. It's everywhere! But before you can win these leagues, you... Read More


Drake London - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Fantasy Football Targets and Fades - FFPC Main Event Contest

Even though the calendar still shows it's the first half of June, fantasy football drafts are back in full swing in many best ball leagues, tournaments, and high-stakes contests. These early drafts can help all fantasy football managers get a feel for how the market perceives players and where they will end up in drafts... Read More


Geno Smith - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS Picks

Fantasy Football Preview - Seattle Seahawks Edition

This new 32-part series will dissect each NFL team through a fantasy football lens. We'll look at each of the four primary positions—quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end—and identify each player's value at their current ADP. Through this series, we'll also recognize players fantasy managers should avoid and target at their current ADP.... Read More


Ricky Pearsall - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Five Fantasy Football Rookies That Will Fail To Make An Instant Impact In 2024

In recent years, we have seen more rookies than ever before provide immediate fantasy football results. Just last year, we watched Puka Nacua and C.J. Stroud have impressive debut seasons. However, not every rookie can make an immediate impact. Whether it’s due to circumstances or lack of experience, there are times when first-year players disappoint.... Read More


UFL RANKINGS, FANTASY FOOTBALL,

Free UFL Betting Picks - Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for the UFL Championship

Sadly and sweetly, we have reached the conclusory game of the 2024 UFL season. I am already yearning for the start of the 2025 season and eager to follow along as the draft happens, the rosters change, and 2024 stars get their NFL opportunities. There is plenty to reflect on: the great attendance numbers for... Read More


Sneaky QB1 Candidates? 2024 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers

The NFL season is right around the corner, which means that fantasy football drafts will soon take place. Drafting your fantasy team is one of the most exciting times for managers. But it also is one of the most stressful times, especially when making certain decisions like when is the best time to draft a... Read More


Isiah Pacheco - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Running Backs

League Winners for Fantasy Football Best Ball: Draft Targets Include Isiah Pacheco, Jameson Williams, Christian Watson, Mark Andrews, more

Fantasy football best ball drafts continue to build momentum as an entertaining way to play fantasy football. As the hype around drafting teams grows throughout the preseason, the appetite for more BB contests continues to grow without putting more in-season management on drafters' plates. Best ball is a format where you draft a team and... Read More


Jaylen Waddle - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL DFS Picks

Dynasty Fantasy Football - 2023 Fantasy Football Busts To Buy In 2024

When a player busts, confidence begins to drain. However, separating facts from feelings is easier when they are not on your team to begin with.  Some preseason-hyped players were total busts in 2023. Many fantasy football managers will avoid these players in 2024 drafts, but should they? Taking advantage while their perception is down, or... Read More


Demario Douglas - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

Cheap Dynasty Fantasy Football Buys With Upside in 2024 - Fantasy Football Outlook

Let’s be honest. When it comes to dynasty fantasy football, the ultimate goal is to win championships. Drafting rookies and playing scout is fun, but the only thing people remember is who wins titles. One of the most integral parts of playing dynasty fantasy football is recognizing marketplace inefficiencies and acting on them accordingly. Player... Read More


DraftKings Best Ball 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings and Tiers (Top 350)

Hello and welcome to RotoBaller's DraftKings Best Ball Fantasy Football Rankings for 2024 Best Ball leagues on DraftKings. A reminder that on the DraftKings Fantasy platform, NFL best ball leagues only have four potential positions -- Quarterback (QB), Running Back (RB), Wide Receiver (WR), and Tight End (TE). You will see these four positions in... Read More


Tyjae Spears - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Tony Pollard, Tyjae Spears - Fantasy Football Outlook for Tennessee Titans RBs in 2024

The Tennessee Titans backfield underwent significant changes this offseason. Longtime starter Derrick Henry left for the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. Tennessee’s offense has been centered around Henry for years, and this rushing attack will have a very different look in 2024. While Henry is gone, second-year back Tyjae Spears remains in the fold. The... Read More