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Potential 49ers draft target Lance hopes to start as rookie QB

/ by Jennifer Lee Chan
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After playing in only 18 collegiate games, North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance believes he will make a case to be under center at the beginning of the 2021 NFL season. 

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is the undisputed No. 1 quarterback available in this year's draft but after that, things get a little murkier. Pro Football Focus has Lance ranked as the fourth-best quarterback prospect while ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has the two-time FCS National Champion as fifth. 

Lance shared that he has not been paying attention to what he cannot control. Instead, the Bison quarterback has been preparing to play in a live game again for the first time since October 3, 2020, when he and NDSU beat Central Arkansas 39-28 at the Fargodome.

“I am going to be as ready as I possibly can Week 1 to go,” Lance said at his Pro Day availability. “I’m a competitor first and foremost, so I’m going to compete for that spot regardless of where I’m at, or what the situation is. I feel confident that wherever I go I’ll be ready to go.” 

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes that Lance’s intelligence is what could set the NFL prospect apart, but also he believes that it will also take a little time for the young prospect to develop. 

“Trey is going to need some time,” Jeremiah said. “The only thing that would hold me back on that is I don't know if he's going to be ready to do that right away. You'd have to be patient with him.

 

“But when you talk to the folks at North Dakota State, this kid is incredibly intelligent. He can direct fronts, he can do all the stuff at the line of scrimmage you need to do. He's a fantastic athlete and runner [and] he’s got a power arm.” 

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Kyle Shanahan is well known for breaking down a single play for 45 minutes. That doesn't surprise Lance at all, and in fact, he believes that same thorough and concentrated work is one of his strengths. 

“I definitely detail my work,” Lance said after working on the field during NDSU’s Pro Day. “I think my preparation is something that separated me and my football IQ. Attention to detail at the line of scrimmage is something where I feel like it’s one of my strengths.”  

Lance would not reveal which teams he has had contact with throughout the pre-draft process, but did share that getting in front of representatives on the field and in virtual meeting rooms has been enjoyable after such a long break away from the game. 

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