Trey Lance has successfully parlayed one season at the Division I-FCS level into a top-10 draft value. The North Dakota State quarterback is expected to be one of the first players chosen this year, but the unusual prospect is on track give teams another chance to study him soon.
While North Dakota State has not yet scheduled a second Pro Day for Lance, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes another Lance workout is expected to take place (subscription required). Linked to making such preparations along with Justin Fields, Lance will follow Fields in this regard. The Ohio State prospect is planning to work out for teams again April 14.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan did not attend Lance’s Pro Day last month. The showcase came before San Francisco had acquired the No. 3 overall pick, and the franchise’s power duo did not want to invite suspicion about their plans before the team acquired the pick. It should then be expected 49ers brass will be on hand to watch Lance this time. No private workouts can take place leading up to this draft, with the COVID-19 pandemic nixing those for a second straight year.
Mac Jones has emerged as the early clubhouse leader to be drafted third overall. Jones would be expected to play behind Jimmy Garoppolo as a rookie, should the incumbent remain on the team in a Jones-to-San Francisco scenario. Lance would profile as a player who would benefit further by sitting for at least one season. Lance started as a freshman, leading the Bison to another FCS title, and played in one game as a sophomore before declaring for the draft. The 6-foot-3, 224-pound prospect dominated in his one season of competition (28 TD passes, no INTs, 1,100 rushing yards) but carries no experience against high-end college competition and will enter the NFL after a sophomore season that the pandemic nullified.
Should the 49ers pass on Lance at No. 3, he would be an option for a Falcons team that appears to be split on drafting a quarterback or the best non-QB available at No. 4. A host of teams would be on the trade-up radar for the two QBs that do not go in the top three, with the 2022 quarterback class (as of now) not generating considerable buzz.