Trey Lance: I’m excited to prove people wrong again

USA TODAY Sports

One of the knocks on quarterback Trey Lance as he enters the 2021 draft has been his lack of experience.

While Lance won a national championship with North Dakota State in 2019, because of the pandemic he started only 17 college games. He displayed how dynamic he was in those contests, throwing for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and no interceptions while also recording 1,100 yards rushing with 14 TDs in 2019. But he also did that at the FCS level.

That’s part of why Lance is thought of as more of a project for the NFL. While he clearly has skills, he’ll have to refine them at the game’s highest level.

During a Tuesday interview on NFL Network, Lance addressed being thought of as raw and a project before pointing to another NDSU quarterback as an example of why he can be successful.

“Yeah, hearing those for me, it’s honestly exciting — I get to prove people wrong again,” Lance said. “[That’s] something I feel like I just continue to do and I want to continue to do. So I’m definitely excited to be able to prove people wrong and come in and be ready to go whatever the situation is, whenever the coaching staff sees fit.

“But yeah, I mean, the project QB label is defiantly a thing. And I think whether it’s playing FCS football or whatever, I think Carson [Wentz is] a great example of someone who came in from FCS football level of competition, and all the things people talked about with him, he came in and played really, really well as a rookie. So I think that’s a huge thing for me and my process.”

While the prevailing thought has been that the 49ers will choose Mac Jones at No. 3 overall on Thursday, that is not quite set in stone. But no matter where Lance is selected, he’ll have plenty to prove in his quest to become one of the league’s franchise quarterbacks.

43 responses to “Trey Lance: I’m excited to prove people wrong again

  1. The learning curve is so steep for college QBs going to a pro offense. Even Patrick Mahomes admitted that he couldn’t read a defense until towards the end of his 3rd season.

  2. Don’t forget he’s also playing with FCS level players and dominated. Don’t let the lower level competition fool you. If he was just ok in those games then you’d have some concern.

  3. Why are all these wildly successful athletes always acting as if people doubted them? It’s probably just the opposite. I suspect they’re so completely spoiled that even the slightest sniff of adversity seems completely foreign to them.

  4. isheimfromcolfax says:
    Don’t forget he’s also playing with FCS level players and dominated. Don’t let the lower level competition fool you. If he was just ok in those games then you’d have some concern.
    ==

    That’s a fair and valid point.
    It’s equally fair to say North Dakota State has been an FCS powerhouse, dominating at a level comparable to the way Alabama does at the FBS level. In other words, on any given Saturday the Bisons will more often than not line up talent superior to the competition, all across the board including depth.
    Plenty of Alabama players have been highly drafted, only to be exposed as average at the pro level when they aren’t surrounded at every position by all-star talent, and the other team’s players are as good or better than they are.
    Other smaller school players have been great NFL players, so I’m not here to say Trey Lance won’t be one of them. He has the measurables and very may well be.
    I am saying he hasn’t been consistently tested against top-level talent, especially when the talent on the other side of the ball is on par with his team, therefore he will face a steeper learning curve than a lot of rookie QBs.

  5. Yeah because Mitch Trubisky worked out so well. And he played against real competition.

  6. This dude’s gonna end up in Denver, where John Elway knows how to destroy QB’s like few others do.

  7. Who is he trying to prove wrong? The draft hasn’t even happened. Just say, “I’m excited to play at the professional level.” And move the hell.

  8. I hope he does prove people wrong. I don’t know anything about him as a player, but the interviews I have watched have made him easy for me to like. And its hard not to be for the FCS to star storyline.

  9. First people have this guy with under 20 college starts as high as number 3. Who is he proving wrong? The fake chip on the shoulder is immature.

  10. Glad that he’s confident in his abilities, but not many FCS QBs have shown their worth long term at the NFL level. He’s a gamble for any team.

  11. Blah blah blah. Now the draft talking heads on Thursday can blather on about how he has a chip on his shoulder and will be motivated to prove doubters wrong. Same story, different year. It’s such a tired angle.

  12. “While Lance won a national championship with North Dakota State in 2019, because of the pandemic he started only 17 college games.”

    —-

    Heck, that’s three seasons for Jimmy G!

  13. Ya he could be a real steal. Facts, Fields played against serious non contenders in the big ten not top notch competition like the pundits are saying. Matter of fact the Div of Lance played in would have given most big ten schools a run for their money.
    When all is said and done he will go early, get more money then God and maybe have a great career. Tired of crybabies. Show everyone once you get a football in your hand not with your mouth.

  14. Likable kid. Rooting for him. But man anyone who thinks the Niners will entrust that great team to a 20 yr old with one year of low-level college experience is crazy.

  15. “Matter of fact the Div of Lance played in would have given most big ten schools a run for their money.”

    Man, I am a graduate from the MAC and even I’m not delusional enough to make such a comparison about an entire Division. Maybe a single team in the division is able to compete, but not the entire division. We know this because most years a few in that division do match up against Big Ten opponents and usually get squashed.

    Everyone angry that Lance answered a question by basically saying “I know I have work to do to prove I am a starter in the NFL.” Instead of being able to relate to someone needing to prove themselves, you consider him a cry baby? If he acted entitled like Josh Rosen, would that make you feel better or worse?

    How could he have answered that question differently to improve his answer? I would love to hear it!

  16. I personally wouldn’t draft a QB with one year of college experience as a starting QB like Mac Jones and Trey Lance. That’s one of the things that fit into the pattern of QB busts. But, at least he has the physical equipment to reach into his toolbox of elite physical gifts to succeed while he’s figuring NFL defenses out: Cant say the same about Mac Jones. If Mac Jones can’t figure NFL defenses out off the rip he’s going to get eaten alive as his toolbox is empty.

  17. 2 years playing in sandlot games, I had 41 TD throws, ran for 26 scores, then I decided that I had to prove everyong wrong about my play moving forward in the Pop Warner League !!!

  18. hassplucker says:
    April 27, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Yeah because Mitch Trubisky worked out so well. And he played against real competition.
    __________________________________________

    You guys make being a NFL QB sound so easy. Not everyone is going to be Tom Brady. And guys like Jimmy G are now on the chopping. What does that tell you? It ain’t easy! Belittle Trubisky all you want, but he better than most that come into this league.

  19. The bigger issue is how risky a pick he’d be. If he’d played a full season in 2020, maybe he would’ve had a slightly disappointing year. Then he’s more of a Davis Mills type 2nd round guy and you’ve really reached on him. Add that there’s no combine or medical exams and this guy is pretty risky. The project part doesn’t concern me – if he’s really good I can wait a year or even two.

  20. When he says prove everyone wrong again, he is referring to how college teams like University of Minnesota tried to recruit him and turn him into a safety. NDSU let him stay at QB. There is a great article about his background on NFL.com.

  21. If he sits behind a starter for one year, it would be best. The whole issues with all these QBs really is the ability to process info and act quickly. its amazing how the NFL hasn’t figured out a way to measure that. And they don’t have to be geniuses — just look at Lord Favre.

  22. It all depends on what the ’49ers want. Mac Jones is closer to playing in his first year, than is Trey Lance. Lance is probably a year away, maybe 2 years. Is Jimmy G the man the ’49ers have confidence in? What about Josh Rosen? That’s the question the ’49ers face. Who is ready to lead the team to victory.

  23. I think SF takes Fields. I watched Jones last night from his Alabama pro day and the dude looked like a cross between a 21 year old Tom Brady and Richie Cunningham. Dress him in nothing but a pair of shirts and ask 100 people to guess his profession and you’d see CPA 20:1 over QB.

  24. Josh Rosen said the same thing on draft night. Mad at the Browns, Jets and Bills for taking Mayfield, Darnold and Allen ahead of him.

    What’s that you say? Talk is cheap? Ding ding ding!

  25. Welcome to San Francisco, couldn’t be going into a better scheme for a less experienced QB.

  26. ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    April 27, 2021 at 1:40 pm
    Hope Minnesota trades up to take him.
    ==================================================
    He could be the next Easton Stick.

  27. collectordude says:
    April 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm
    Keep mouth closed.
    Let your play talk for you.
    ——————————————-

    Dude, these guys are probably getting interviewed half their entire day right now. They’re getting asked a million questions. Why is this so tough for people to understand?

  28. ImaFubar says:
    April 27, 2021 at 1:13 pm
    Ya he could be a real steal. Facts, Fields played against serious non contenders in the big ten not top notch competition like the pundits are saying. Matter of fact the Div of Lance played in would have given most big ten schools a run for their money.
    When all is said and done he will go early, get more money then God and maybe have a great career. Tired of crybabies. Show everyone once you get a football in your hand not with your mouth.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    “Matter of fact the Div of Lance played in would have given most big ten schools a run for their money.” Most of their games are played in conference. Take Missouri State as an example. They were 5-1 in conference, but 0-4 out of conference. Yeah, that included a 48-0 beat down by Oklahoma. Is that a run for the money? Now imagine if they had to play a B10 school like Ohio State.

  29. I’d take Lance over Fields and Jones. Why? Lance played with average talent and had to elevate his team to win games, whereas the other guys had 5 star athletes at every position creating highlight reels for them. Lance played with one guy that will be drafted on Day 3 (OL Dillon Radunz) and the rest are 2-3 star athletes Lance had to make plays happen and that skill helps quite a bit in the NFL. Also, ALA and OSU QBs are usually terrible in the NFL because they never had to deal with pocket pressure, throw anyone open or squeeze the ball into closing windows. They played in near perfect conditions and as we’ve seen with Tua and Haskins, it’s the exact opposite in the NFL.

  30. This guy has everything on paper. He has unbelievable stats, but so did Dwayne Haskins. He was a big winner, but so were A.J. McCarron and Ken Dorsey. There’s just nothing like watching tape. The tape shows all you need to know. John Elway and Patrick Mahomes were on losing teams in college. But if you watched those two on tape, they played exactly the same in college and pro. Most QB’s do. If you like Lance on tape, don’t worry about what anyone else says. But if you see greatness on paper, but don’t like what you see on tape, go with the tape. You can read ten books about these guys and look at pages and pages of stats. None of that tells you anything. The tape tells you everything.

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