NFL Draft analyst says QB prospect Trey Lance reminds him of Lamar Jackson

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ethan Cadeaux
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

NFL Draft analyst says Trey Lance reminds him of Lamar Jackson originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft but has also been one of the hardest passers for many draft experts to project how he'll pan out.

Lance only played in one game this past fall due to the pandemic but turned in one of the best seasons in FCS history in 2019, leading NDSU to a national title. During that undefeated campaign, Lance threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns with zero (!!) interceptions while rushing for 1,100 yards and 14 more scores on the ground.

Over the past two days, Lance has earned some pretty promising comparisons. On Tuesday, NFL Network draft guru Daniel Jeremiah said the NDSU signal-caller reminded him of Steve McNair. Then, on Wednesday, ESPN draft expert Matt Miller compared the 20-year-old to one of the NFL's most recent MVPs.

"Guys, let me get this one out before you jump on me," Miller said on ESPN's NFL Live. "He reminds me of Lamar Jackson."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Woah.

Miller's comparison of Lance to Jackson wasn't him saying the two passers play the exact same, but that both quarterbacks excel in similar areas. Jackson has one of the most unique skill sets of any quarterback in NFL history, but Lance enters the professional level with his own unique toolbox, too.

The analyst believes Lance can be an NFL quarterback right away and have similar success that Jackson had as a rookie, solely based on his athleticism.

"The reason for that is I think Year 1, Trey Lance can be a starting quarterback in the NFL because of his athleticism," Miller said. "He's just shrugging off tacklers. He's 225 pounds, he's ready right now as a runner and a thrower. That's why I compare him to Lamar Jackson."

Then, after Lance gets comfortable to the transition from college to the pro game, Miller believes the quarterback will be able to make a huge jump from Year 1 to Year 2 the same way Jackson did.

"Get him on the field in Year 1. Let him beat teams with his athleticism and his arm strength," Miller said. "Then in Year 2, ramp up. What did Lamar Jackson do in Year 2? He won the MVP."

Lance is expected to come off the board within the top 10 picks, which would be a lot earlier than Jackson was drafted in 2018 when the Ravens nabbed him with the final pick in the first round. Lance's Pro Day is on March 12. A good showing from the quarterback could cement top-10 status.

A team like the Panthers at No. 8 could be a great fit for Lance, as Carolina appears determined to upgrade from Teddy Bridgewater this offseason.

Miller thinks Carolina would be a great fit for Lance. If the NDSU star does end up in Charlotte, the analyst believes Matt Rhule and co. should follow John Harbaugh's blueprint in Baltimore for how to develop the quarterback.

"If I'm drafting him, if I'm the Carolina Panthers and I draft him, my blueprint is exactly what we saw with Lamar Jackson in Baltimore," Miller said.

Between Lance, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Justin Fields, the 2021 class is loaded with talented signal-callers. At age 20, Lance is the youngest of the bunch. If Lance had returned to North Dakota State for one more season, Miller has no doubt he would have been the top overall selection in next year's draft.

"If he had gone back to school, he would be the surefire No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft. Guaranteed," Miller said.