Name: Trey Lance
School: North Dakota State
Hands: 9 1/8 inches
Arm length: 31.5 inches
Wing span: 76 ¾ inches
How he fits: The Lions officially announced the Jared Goff trade last week, and general manager Brad Holmes said he expects Goff to come in and be the Week 1 starter in 2021. But Holmes also doubled down on his previous remarks that every position will be considered with the No. 7 overall pick in next month's NFL Draft, including quarterback.
"With respect to where we're at, at seven overall with the draft regarding the quarterback position like I told you guys previously, and it hasn't changed, when you're picking inside the top 10, you're not in a position to ignore any positions. You're just not." Holmes said.
"So, the quarterback position is very important and if the value is there and the right guy is there, then he'd be in heavy consideration if the right player is there and the value is there. So, this doesn't change anything that we spoke about previously regarding the draft. We do expect Jared to come in, compete and be a starter."
Both Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell were at Lance's pro day back in early March to get a closer look at one of the more interesting quarterback prospects in this draft class. Lance played in the FCS and was a starter for only 17 games, but he was impressive over that span.
Lance had a remarkable 2019 season for the Bison as a first-year starter. He completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 1,100 yards (6.5 average) with another 14 scores.
This past season, North Dakota State played just one game before halting their season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lance threw for 149 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and rushed for 143 yards and two scores.
The Lions signed quarterback Tim Boyle in free agency and also return David Blough, but as Holmes said, if he decides the value is there at No. 7 for a quarterback, Lance is certainly an interesting prospect with a lot of potential.
Key observations: Lance has a terrific blend of arm talent and athleticism. He won the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the FCS, the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in the FCS and the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year award in 2019.
Lance was an all-state quarterback in high school in Minnesota, but some of the bigger schools recruiting him wanted him to play safety. That's how he ended up at North Dakota State.
Some teams might worry about his inexperience having thrown just 318 career passes in college.
What they had to say about him: "Lance has a thick/sturdy frame for the quarterback position. He only started 17 games at North Dakota State, but there is plenty to get excited about. He split his time between under center and in the shotgun. He plays with excellent patience and poise, taking what the defense gives him. He rarely puts the ball in jeopardy (he didn't throw an interception until his final collegiate game). He shows the ability to change ball speed and trajectory underneath, while also displaying the velocity to fit the ball into tight windows on intermediate throws.
"His deep-ball accuracy needs to improve, though. He has a bad habit of sinking his weight before he throws, which impacts his placement. He is very strong in the pocket, routinely shrugging off rushers and creating plays. He is ultra-competitive on designed QB runs, displaying build-up speed and power. Lance is going to need time to develop, but I'm going to bet on his skill set, competitiveness and decision-making." - NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah
What he had to say: "One of my strengths is being able to move the pocket and get out of the pocket and scramble and make plays with my legs," Lance said after his pro day workout. "Today, I wanted to show that I could throw a little bit more from the pocket. Rhythm stuff and things like that.
"But I definitely feel that my (running ability) is one of my strengths. I would hope that wherever I go, it will be part of my game. I assume it will be at some point."