Jeffrey Lurie’s reported desire to have Jalen Hurts be the Eagles’ starting quarterback this year doesn’t mean Philadelphia will ignore the position leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.
Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson are attending Trey Lance’s pro day at North Dakota State today, according to Albert Breer.
Lance is expected, though not necessarily guaranteed, to be available when the Eagles pick at No. 6 overall. Ergo, it’s only natural that they’re doing homework on one of the options potentially available to them.
There’s also the matter of Lance being relatively unknown as a prospect. I mean, he’s obviously a high-profile name. But this is a dude with just 318 total college pass attempts, and all of them coming at the Division I FCS level. Contrast that number with other top FBS quarterback prospects such as Trevor Lawrence’s 1,138, or Zach Wilson’s 837, or Justin Fields’ 618, or even Mac Jones’ 556. Comparatively speaking, there just isn’t an extensive track record to evaluate when it comes to Lance.
And so NFL teams, the Eagles included, are going to make every effort to learn about as much as Lance as they can.
But should he seriously be in the mix with the sixth overall pick? Let’s look at some scouting reports to look at what we do know about him.
Starting with BGN’s own Ben Natan:
What He Does Well: Trey Lance’s projection is not about what he can or cannot do. It is going to be about multiplying his traits into being a consistent passer. Trey Lance has a tremendous arm that he showed off at NDSU regularly as an efficient deep passer. He also has great size and athleticism, making him very hard to bring down inside the pocket and as a runner. Lance is a young prospect with endless upside.
Where He Can Improve: Trey Lance will be 20 years old on draft day and has played one game in the last year. There are a lot of question marks about his transition to the NFL from the FCS, especially as a young passer with less experience than his peers. Lance’s potential is going to have a lot of teams interested, but he will need to improve on consistency basically everywhere in his game to be a successful quarterback.
High-End NFL Comparison: Jordan Love was a first-round pick last year because of his incredible upside as a passer and big-time play in the Mountain West Conference. Luckily, he came into a situation where he had the luxury to sit behind an elite quarterback for at least a season. Besides being almost the same size as Jordan Love, Lance’s pro-readiness is unclear and may best be suited to be drafted behind an established passer. This gives him time to develop his game and prevents early rocky play from stunting his growth.
And NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, who has Lance as his No. 11 prospect (and third-best quarterback):
Lance has a thick/sturdy frame for the quarterback position. He only started 17 games at North Dakota State, but there is plenty to get excited about. He split his time between under center and in the shotgun. He plays with excellent patience and poise, taking what the defense gives him. He rarely puts the ball in jeopardy (he didn’t throw an interception until his final collegiate game). He shows the ability to change ball speed and trajectory underneath, while also displaying the velocity to fit the ball into tight windows on intermediate throws. His deep-ball accuracy needs to improve, though. He has a bad habit of sinking his weight before he throws, which impacts his placement. He is very strong in the pocket, routinely shrugging off rushers and creating plays. He is ultra-competitive on designed QB runs, displaying build-up speed and power. Lance is going to need time to develop, but I’m going to bet on his skill set, competitiveness and decision-making.
My good friend Jimmy Kempski did a good job of highlighting the concerning hitch that appears on Lance’s film.
There’s certainly intrigue to be had with this prospect. He’s a swing-for-the-fences selection that could make a team look like geniuses for drafting him if he pans out.
The feeling here, though, is that Lance is just way too much of an unknown to comfortably project what he’s going to be in the NFL. I don’t think the Eagles can afford to spend No. 6 overall on a total wild card like that. The guess here is that it won’t happen.
Still, the Eagles are right to be doing research on him and, presumably, other top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
Do you want the Eagles to draft Trey Lance at No. 6 overall?
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