Celebrating the 200th RSP Film Room episode, Mark Schofield and Matt Waldman examine over two dozen plays of North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, one of the top prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft class.
Red-shirt sophomore Trey Lance is a thick-legged, 220-pound quarterback with speed to threaten a secondary, quickness to shake or bounce away from pursuit, and the balance and strength to drop the pads and run through linebackers. Those aren’t even his most compelling traits as a football player.
It only took a handful of throws and runs early on in my six-game study of Lance to see some of my favorite NFL quarterback’s style in Lance’s game—Steve McNair.
McNair was a Pro-Bowl quarterback built like a tailback who possessed the grit of a fullback. He was a skilled passer who could throw on the move to his left or right and he had a deep all with range and accuracy. McNair excelled at maneuvering crowded pockets and maintaining his eyes on the coverage.
Players respected McNair’s game far more than fans and media and if McNair and Dante Culpepper switched teams or the Titans drafted Randy Moss instead of Kevin Dyson, McNair had the game to earn multiple MVPs.
Lance’s high release, mobile accuracy, vertical game, and running style remind me of McNair. While still refining this skill, so does his maneuvering of the pocket.
Another comparison for Lance is that his coverage-reading, pocket feel, and consistent accuracy make him everything fans of Sam Darnold hope that Darnold will become. Lance is the real deal, and Mark Schofield and I review 25 plays of Lance’s 2019 tape to illustrate the conceptual, technical, and physical skills that make Lance as compelling of a quarterback as any prospect in what’s shaping up to be a rich class of 2021 prospects.
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