The 2021 NFL Draft could be one for the ages. Two major trades have taken place to shake up the selection order a little bit, and now the quarterback position will be the talk of the town to start this year's draft. Most teams are looking to set themselves up for the future by landing one of the top prospects in this draft. Picks 1-3 of the On Tap Sports Net mock draft are in the books, which means Atlanta is officially on the clock.
I foresee the Falcons selecting Trey Lance, so let's dive into a scouting report on the North Dakota State quarterback.
Mobility is a huge part of the NFL game now. Lance's ability to move the ball on the ground when needed has made him a top target in this year's draft. At 6-foot-4 and 226 lbs, Lance is built to take NFL-caliber hits. His production level at North Dakota State was nothing short of phenomenal. In just 19 total games, he threw 48 total touchdowns and just one interception. Do not downplay those figures just because he played in the FCS, however, because he completely dominated.
What makes Lance ready for the next level is his power. That includes the ability to run defenders over as well as having plenty of zip on his throws. Lance may not Josh Allen-type power, but his arm strength is still impressive and his ability to throw the deep ball will only improve within the right system. Overall, Lance's best trait is keeping plays alive and gaining positive yardage on the ground or through the air.
Having said all that, it doesn't seem like he has many issues. Very rarely is that the case when it comes to NFL Draft prospects, however, so let's take a look at some of Lance's flaws.
The biggest concern surrounding Trey Lance is a lack of playing time, as he has just 19 total games under his belt. The best thing for Lance will be going to a team so he can learn under a veteran for a while. Considering that inexperience and the rawness to his game, an issue that emerges for Lance is getting stuck on one read and throwing into a bad spot or taking off to run before going through some more reads.
He will also need to get used to throwing the ball into a tighter window in the NFL. At times, accuracy was an issue for Lance, but that is not all on him. That issue could easily be worked on with an NFL team. At the end of the day, improving accuracy all comes down to field vision and Lance has shown both good and bad flashes in that area.
Trey Lance has all the talent to succeed in the NFL. A few things have to happen for it to go well for him, however. First, he needs time to develop behind a veteran. Second, whichever team he goes to needs to build the roster around him with the right players and implement a favorable scheme. Third, Lance's transition to the pro game should not be rushed, or else he could end up like Mitchell Trubisky.
Atlanta would be a desirable destination for Lance because he would have the opportunity to learn from Matt Ryan and become a true professional quarterback. It would also be a good fit because some of the areas in which Lance struggles are strengths for Ryan. The Atlanta offense needs a few more pieces over the next year and they will be rolling like they seemingly always do for several more years. The defense is still an issue, but that's a separate project for the front office to tackle. Do not be scared to make this leap though, Falcons fans!