Trey Lance Dynasty Fantasy Outlook, NFL Draft Profile & Props
Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Trey Lance.
- "I want Trey Lance everywhere. Acquiring him in dynasty leagues is one of my top priorities."
- NFL draft and fantasy football analyst Matthew Freedman evaluates the QB's longterm potential.
- Find Freedman's full profile on Lance below, complete with which props to bet for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Trey Lance Draft Profile
Trey Lance Draft Props
Lance has a wide range of draft outcomes.
He could go as high as No. 3 to the 49ers. Analysts and draftniks are broken into two camps when it comes to the No. 3 pick: One side is it will be Mac Jones — but if not Jones then Lance. The other side says it will be Justin Fields — but if not Fields then Lance. The one commonality both sides have is Lance.
He is very live to go to San Francisco, and he’s available now at +450 at William Hill. Although my primary No. 3 position is on Jones, over the past two weeks I have hedged by opportunistically adding positions on Lance.
Like Mel Kiper Jr. and Daniel Jeremiah, I’m of the opinion that Jones will be the pick — and if not him then Lance.
Which QB should the @49ers draft at 3️⃣?@melkiperESPN from @ESPN joined our @movethesticks to discuss!
📺: 2021 #NFLDraft — April 29 (8pm ET) on NFLN/ESPN/ABC pic.twitter.com/i097jwsYK9
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 21, 2021
But even though I like Lance as the No. 2 option to the 49ers, I don’t see much value in his number right now.
While I rely on my own research, I also take a “wisdom of the crowds” approach by surveying an index of mock drafts. I find that these drafts — created by experts with established records of success — collectively give me a good sense of the realistic range of outcomes for what we might see with any given player or pick.
In just 20% of the indexed mocks does Lance go off the board at No. 3, which translates to a line of +400. So at +450 there’s some value but not an abundance of value. I’m not rushing to bet it.
But I do like over 6.5 on Lance’s draft position at +125, available at Bet365.
The Falcons and Bengals look locked in at Nos. 4-5 to tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, which means that the under will hit for Lance only if he goes No. 3 or if a team trades up to No. 6 to draft a quarterback — and even if that happens the player selected there could be Fields.
Even if Lance is a coin flip to go at Nos. 3 or 6 combined, that still provides value to the over at plus money.
Pick: Over 6.5, +125 (bet to +110); 1.0 units
Dynasty Fantasy Analysis
Lance is my favorite quarterback in this class. He’s not the best prospect — but he has a shot to be the best professional.
The breadth of his comps speaks to his wide range of NFL outcomes.
- Lance Zierlein: Josh Allen
- Thor Nystrom: Steve McNair
- Player Profiler: Matthew Stafford
- Pro Football Focus: Taysom Hill (with arm talent)
Like Allen, Lance is raw. Like McNair, he is a strong, tough-to-tackle runner. Like Stafford, he is young — he will be 21 years old as a rookie. And like Hill, he will likely need time to develop.
Lightly recruited out of high school, Lance had the opportunity to play in the Ivy League for Cornell, in the MAC for Northern Illinois, in the FCS for powerhouse North Dakota State — or in the Big Ten at Minnesota (his local school and desired location) … but as a safety, not a quarterback.
Lance chose to stay at quarterback, and he signed with the Bison. He chose well.
In 2018 he dressed every game of the title season, but he technically redshirted as the No. 3 quarterback and saw limited action in just two contests, completing his one attempt for 12 yards while flashing his wheels with 8-82-2 rushing.
In 2019, though, he broke out as a redshirt freshman with one of the most dominant FCS campaigns in recent history.
40 yard tear drop in rhythm of a three-step drop. Hold all my calls. pic.twitter.com/j8MhJ2o7tG
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) February 16, 2021
Starting all 16 games, he led the Bison to a record-setting 16-0 season and national championship with 2,786-28-0 passing on a 66.9% completion rate and 156-1,159-14 rushing (excluding sacks, per 2021 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook).
I want to be sure you appreciate those numbers: zero interceptions and well over 1,000 yards rushing. The rushing production in particular was something to behold.
Trey Lance is big and uses his size in the run game. He lowers the shoulder here on a poor DB. pic.twitter.com/mdsHPFGkTq
— Inside The Draft (@Jacobkeppen) February 23, 2021
For his remarkable season, Lance won the Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding offensive FCS player in the nation.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, North Dakota State’s 2020 season was postponed to the spring of 2021, but the team did play one game — essentially an exhibition against Central Arkansas — in October.
Under these abnormal circumstances, Lance had perhaps the worst game of his undergraduate career: He completed just 50% of his passes and threw his first (and only) interception of college. Oh my — how embarrassing!
Some draftniks talk about this one game as if it’s somehow representative of anything and as if Lance actually played poorly. Given the circumstances, the game is meaningless, and Lance didn’t have a bad game. He had 148 yards and two touchdowns passing and was 13-164-2 rushing. Overall, that’s a dominant performance.
Shortly after the game, Lance opted out of the rest of the season and declared for the NFL draft. So here we are, looking at an incredibly accomplished but developmental prospect.
In some regards, Lance is similar to Mac Jones: Both started just 17 games in college, but what they accomplished as individuals and team leaders in limited action was remarkable. But, unlike Jones, Lance didn’t play at the highest level of college football, and he hardly threw the ball: As a starter, he attempted just 18.6 passes per game.
But I’m not too worried about Lance as a passer. He’s far from a finished product. He doesn’t throw with great anticipation or accuracy. He tends to leave the pocket early when pressured. He doesn’t drive with his legs when throwing deep. He can be tentative in attacking the defense. But he also doesn’t have bad mechanical habits that need to be unlearned. He’s a workable prospect.
He’s intelligent and driven. In college, he played in a pro-style system. He can produce inside and outside of the pocket. He can throw with touch to the sidelines. He pushes the ball downfield with his career average depth of target of 11.5 yards (per Pro Football Focus). And he has a strong arm, as evidenced by some of the throws we saw at the North Dakota State pro day.
Trey Lance was throwing MISSILES all over the field at his Pro Day 👀🎯
The arm talent is unreal @treylance09@NDSUfootball
(Via @nfl) pic.twitter.com/zO4Ue2RzgR
— 247Sports (@247Sports) March 12, 2021
Lance certainly has the talent to be a functional-at-worst NFL passer.
But, really, who cares about his passing? Even if he never becomes an average passer, he could still be a league-winning fantasy quarterback because of his rushing ability.
With his size, Lance as a runner looks like a move tight end after the catch. He shreds arm tackles and stiff arms defensive backs.
Trey Lance needs to develop more as a passer… DOESN’T NEED TO DEVELOP MORE AS A RUNNER THOUGH. Wow runs all over his tape! pic.twitter.com/24pc0wdOEQ
— Inside The Draft (@Jacobkeppen) February 23, 2021
Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson: They’re all better than Lance. Even the immobile Jones is probably better.
But none of them has Lance’s divinely unholy combination of youth and rushing ability. None of them has his immense fantasy upside.
A complete list of 21-year-old dual-threat rookie quarterbacks selected in Round 1 in all of NFL history.
2001: Michael Vick
2018: Lamar Jackson
2021: Trey Lance
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 23, 2021
With his relative inexperience, passing issues and production vs. low-level competition, Lance might be a bust. But if he booms, the explosion will be magnificent to witness.
I want him everywhere. Acquiring him in dynasty leagues is one of my top priorities.
NFL Prospect Comp: Jalen Hurts with more draft capital and height but much less experience
Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
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