Denver Broncos: 10 players to avoid in the 2021 NFL Draft

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Micah Parsons (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Micah Parsons (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /
9 of 10
Trey Lance, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /

2. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

When it comes to the quarterback position in the NFL Draft, you have to keep an open mind if you’re a general manager.

Fret not, Trey Lance stans, I am also going to make a case at some point for why the Denver Broncos should draft this guy.

For now, and for the purposes of this exercise, why might it make sense for the Denver Broncos to pass?

First and foremost, a reason that might give any NFL team pause when considering drafting Trey Lance — his lack of time on task.

To no fault of his own, Lance only played one “showcase” game in the 2020 season, bringing his collegiate total of games started to just 17. There are very few quarterbacks that have had success coming from any level of college football with only 17 starts or fewer.

In fact, the list Lance would be joining in general is quite small.

Kyler Murray, you’ll recall, won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma after transferring from Texas A&M. He was drafted into the NFL by one of his college coaches, Kliff Kingsbury, who obviously had an intimate knowledge of Murray as a person and his game and his strengths and weaknesses.

Lance was the FCS version of Murray in 2019, if you will, but he never got the chance to go up against any FBS teams.

In his time at North Dakota State, Lance averaged 18.6 pass attempts per game. We’ll call it 19. In that same timeframe, the Bison averaged 45 rushing attempts per game, Lance’s running abilities heavily featured among them.

The Denver Broncos have a wide variety of talented pass catchers in their offense in Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Noah Fant, Tim Patrick, and Albert Okwuegbunam.

The team has invested so much in the passing attack, does drafting a run-first QB make a ton of sense?

This is not to say that Lance can’t throw the ball — he might have the most impressive all-around arm talent in the draft.

With that said, among his 17 starts at NDSU, Lance had six games with a completion percentage of 56.5 percent or less. Is this guy worth the risk in the first round? Would you trade up for him?

Many would argue “yes”, and again, we’ll get into that argument at some point.

For the purposes of arguing why the Denver Broncos should avoid drafting him, you can point to a variety of reasons. The strongest argument to be made, besides the fact that Lance has only 17 games against strictly FCS opponents on his resumé, is probably that the Denver Broncos would need a complete shift in offensive philosophy with this guy at quarterback.

If you’re talking about trading a future first-round pick to move up and get Lance, the Broncos and new GM George Paton might avoid that given the risk involved here.

If he’s sitting there on the board at pick 9? Well, that discussion might change a little bit.