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Trey Lance as a Draft Option for Vikings Gains More Steam

The Viking Age, a Minnesota Vikings-reporting entity, called it a troll job, but Trey Lance’s availability at #14 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft is gaining more traction. Earlier in the week, it was CBS Sports‘ Pete Prisco that chose Lance to the Vikings with Minnesota’s organic draft pick. No trade was necessary to effectuate the NDSU star arriving in Minnesota.

Adam Patrick from The Viking Age [in the article mentioned above] totally disagrees on the feasibility of this — which is fair — but Prisco is not the only one.

In a piece detailing current NFC North supremacy, CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin floated the idea, too. Maybe this is a CBS-driven thing?

Benjamin ranked the Vikings as the division’s second-best team, furthering the Lance heat by stating:

“Much like their quarterback, Kirk Cousins, the Vikings suffer a bit from good-not-great syndrome: They’re almost never bad enough to bottom out and require an overhaul, but they’re also perpetually on the fringe, with playoff appearances serving as the plateau. This offseason fell right in line with that. The offense got younger, with Riley Reiff out at left tackle and Rudolph gone at tight end, but the defense just shuffled parts, with Tomlinson, Vigil and Peterson basically filling in for departed starters. A bold move for a longer-term QB (Trey Lance, anyone?) would really give this team some juice, but barring that, they’re still positioned to be right in the wild-card mix once again. Cousins can’t be much worse than he was to open 2020.”

Indeed, the Lance sentence has a footnote feel. However, it accelerates the conversation. Lance is a conundrum in this draft because he could be selected as high as third overall to the San Francisco 49ers — or he could plunge all the way to the Vikings. The discrepancy depends on the efficacy of the prediction that states five quarterbacks will be chosen with the draft’s first 10 picks. If that prophecy is correct, Lance to Minnesota is a pipe dream. But if it is faulty, let the tumble commence.

The question pivots to whether the Vikings want a quarterback for the future not named Kirk Cousins. Nobody knows that other than Rick Spielman. Outsiders are merely speculating or offering opinions.

Here’s a glimpse as to what the Vikings would get with Lance, per Draft Kings:

“The focal point of any scouting report on Lance needs to be his elite athleticism. He has a strong arm and can hit the deep ball, but most notably, his ability to make plays with his legs is unmatched in this class. It sounds cliche, but his tape is reminiscent of Lamar Jackson’s, particularly in regard to his slippery nature and ability to avoid tackles. It’s difficult to find a downside for Trey Lance based on the body of work that we’ve seen so far. However, therein lies the knock — the body of work is quite small. Lance has attempted a total of just 318 passes at the college level and has just one full season as a starter under his belt. Playing at North Dakota State, Lance faced FCS competition — a major difference from what he’ll be seeing while facing NFL coverage.”

If one is in the camp that would adore a new face at quarterback, the real test is for Lance to get past the Denver Broncos on draft night.  Denver — led by former Vikings executive, George Paton — will serve as the litmus test on how far, if at all, Lance scoots down the board. The Broncos might re-up for one more year of the Drew Lock audition, or the franchise could pounce on Lance, Mac Jones, or Justin Fields.

After the Broncos #9 pick, though, any of the “Big 5” quarterbacks still on the board should be in play for Minnesota.

Dustin Baker

Writer. Host of Bleav in Vikings Podcast w/B-Mac & Baker.

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