2021 NFL Draft: Not familiar with North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance? NFL scouts are

North Dakota State is a powerhouse at the FCS level, and quarterback Trey Lance has the potential to be a Top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it's never too early to look toward the 2021 version – hopefully, it won't be necessary to hold that draft virtually as well. The two top-rated quarterbacks in the Class of 2021 are also the two Heisman Trophy favorites at William Hill sportsbook for this coming NCAA season in Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields. It's not out of the question that Trey Lance could be the third quarterback off the board next April and go somewhere in the Top 10 if he has a 2020 season similar to his '19 version. Here's guessing few casual college football know who Trey Lance is.

Last season with FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, Lance became the first-ever freshman winner (he was a redshirt freshman) of the Walter Payton Award – that's the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy. He also won Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman player in the FCS.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Lance was ranked as a three-star recruit via sister site 247Sports in the Class of 2018 out of Marshall, Minn. No power five conference schools offered him, with the most notable one being Boise State.

Lance led the Bison to their eighth all-time national championship and the first 16-0 finish in college football since Yale in 1894. He was named the MVP of the FCS title game, throwing for just 72 yards but rushing 30 times for 166 yards and a 44-yard touchdown in a win over James Madison.

Perhaps the most amazing statistic for Lance in 2019 was that he didn't throw a single interception – setting the NCAA all-divisions record for most passing attempts in one season (287) without one. He finished 192-for-287 passing for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns. He led the FCS with a 180.6 rating, a school record. The dual threat also rushed for 1,110 yards (NDSU freshman record) and a team-high 14 rushing scores.

One of the most intriguing Week 1 matchups this year in college football is North Dakota State at Oregon on Sept. 5. Don't rule out the Bison pulling the upset.

Because Lance redshirted his first year at North Dakota State, he would be eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft. NDSU, of course, is the alma mater of Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft. Easton Stick is a backup for the Chargers and was a fifth-round pick out of NDSU in 2019.

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