Denver Broncos: Making the case for Trey Lance in round one

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Trey Lance, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos have just over one week to finalize their plans for the 2021 NFL Draft. Will those plans include a quarterback with the 9th overall pick? Right now, there seems to be a decent chance of that.

New general manager George Paton has been nothing if not thorough in his pre-draft process, bringing all hands on deck to help make the most educated decisions in a very strange year for the NFL Draft evaluation process. Although things are returning to some semblance of normalcy, the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting teams in a pretty substantial way.

More than probably any year previously, at least in recent memory, teams have to rely on evaluations with limited in-person interaction. In some cases, almost no in-person interaction.

Because of these rare circumstances, one player, in particular, has been a polarizing prospect to evaluate, at least from the armchair general manager’s position. That player is North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

A year ago at this time, Lance became somewhat of the new version of what Josh Allen once was at Wyoming. A year before the 2018 NFL Draft, people started talking about Josh Allen like this prodigy who came seemingly out of nowhere. Athletes like Allen don’t grow on trees, so to see a guy at Wyoming who was built like a defensive end, chucking the ball around the yard like a flame-throwing baseball pitcher, and able to use his legs to beat the defense as well playing at Wyoming?

No offense to the Cowboys’ program, it was just a shocker.

Similarly, Trey Lance’s ascent at North Dakota State came out of nowhere. Why was a 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback who could whip the ball around the yard playing at North Dakota State instead of starting for a perennial national title contender in the FBS?

Lance threw for over 2,800 yards and rushed for 1,100 yards in his lone season as a starter at North Dakota State with a combined 42 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Needless to say, after his 2019 season, he had the attention of the NFL world and although he and Josh Allen are not exactly the same, you can see why comparisons were made.

Then, the pandemic forced the FCS to postpone their season, and one 16-game season (plus one “showcase” game) was all we got to evaluate Trey Lance on the field.

Because of the value, supply, and demand of the quarterback position, Lance will still be a high first-round draft pick despite the smaller sample size which doesn’t include a single game against FBS competition.

But would he be a fit with the Denver Broncos?

I recently put together a post where I labeled Lance as a player the Denver Broncos should avoid drafting. There are plenty of risks involved here, and you could poke holes in his fit with the other personnel on this team as the Denver Broncos appear to be built to air it out while Lance excels with his legs, but I promised in that post I was also going to make the case for Lance if I was going to give reasons why Paton should avoid drafting him.

Even considering the risk, let’s look at a few reasons why the Denver Broncos should consider making Lance their top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.