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The 2021 NFL Draft quarterback class is loaded with talent. FTNFantasy’s first mock draft of the offseason has five QBs going in the top 10. And in the mix to go toward the top of the draft is North Dakota State QB Trey Lance.

What should we expect of Lance from a fantasy perspective? And where should we be rooting for him to play? This article will break it all down.

Trey Lance college stats

YearSchoolClassGamesCompAtts%YdsY/ATDIntRush Att.Rush Yds.Rush TD
2018North Dakota St.FR211100%1212008822
2019North Dakota St.SO1619228766.90%27869.7280169110014
2020North Dakota St.JR1153050%149521151432

A redshirt sophomore coming off just one game from the 2020 season (with the rest canceled due to COVID-19), there isn’t much to go on except for an impressive 2019 season in which he won the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the FCS.

The two things that jump off the page when looking at Lance’s college stats: His impressive TD-INT ratio (no interceptions in 2019 against 28 TDs), and his obvious rushing ability — 1,100 yards and 14 TDs in 2019, and 149 yards and 2 TDs in his lone 2020 game.

Trey Lance strengths

  • Athleticism and rushing ability
  • Smart decisions
  • Big arm

From a potential perspective, Lance is up there with the best. If you’re looking for top-tier comps, he’s somewhere between Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen. Lance is a powerful, athletic rusher that has dominated with his legs at the college level, averaging nearly 75 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD per game over his collegiate career.

Lance took great care of the football in college, throwing just one interception on over 300 attempts while racking up 48 total TDs.

And, of course, he has a big arm. He averaged an impressive 9.7 yards per attempt in 2019, and per PFF, 11.5 air yards per target. His rushing ability (18 touchdowns in college, plus an 1,100-yard season in 2019) paired with the big arm will make him a potential fantasy goldmine.

In FTN’s first mock draft, Lance is the fourth QB to come off the board.

Trey Lance weaknesses

  • Raw
  • Relies on athleticism
  • Accuracy

Lance will be just 21 when the 2021 NFL season starts, and he really only has one year of college experience under his belt. He’s a raw player, which can be both a pro and a con, but when you’re talking about a potential top-10 pick, having a bit more experience is usually a good thing. Lance also had some accuracy issues, but, again, we don’t have too many pass attempts to go on (338 in his college career).

Lance also completely dominated at the FCS level, which is far from a powerhouse conference. He was usually the best player on the field — by far — which allowed him to rely on athleticism all the time. It goes without saying that won’t be as easy to do in the NFL.

Trey Lance a fit for the Panthers or Broncos?

Lance has the makings of a top 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. to be a lock to go in the top 10. Here are his three best landing spots in the top 10 from a fantasy perspective.

  • Carolina Panthers: The Panthers will be mentioned by every QB in this rookie prospect profile series. They are on the hunt for a franchise QB. A raw rookie could sit behind Teddy Bridgewater for a year if need be. And the talent on the team is ridiculous with D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Christian McCaffrey, even if Curtis Samuel leaves as a free agent. It would be a great spot for any rookie QB, Lance included.
  • Denver Broncos: The Broncos are clearly not sold on Drew Lock, and they are in a good spot in 2021 to land one of these top QBs in the draft. Lance wouldn’t have to start right away with Lock there, but he could easily be groomed for a year or two. Even if Lance did play in Denver sooner rather than later, it would have some fantasy appeal given their strong run game (Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon), future WR1 (Jerry Jeudy) and soon-to-be elite TE (Noah Fant).
  • San Francisco 49ers: This one seems unlikely to happen, but bear with us. The 49ers love rushing, they haven’t sounded completely sold on Jimmy Garoppolo in some time, and the addition of Lance would have the potential to turn San Francisco into a Baltimore West, with Lance serving the Lamar Jackson role. Again, this is unlikely to happen, but it would be a plus for Lance’s fantasy stock if it did.

What is Trey Lance’s fantasy upside?

As noted above, his comps are somewhere between Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen. So it stands to reason that fantasy upside would be in that range as well. Which is to say: Lance’s fantasy upside is enormous. The best fantasy QBs are those that can run and pass. Lance will be able to run in the NFL, and he has the arm talent to turn into a great passer as well. He would be a slam-dunk if he played against better competition or had two or three good years instead of just one. In any event, Lance has fantasy QB1 upside thanks to his rushing skills.