Fargo hasn’t experienced this much excitement since the movie and the TV series.
NFL teams, including the Broncos, must like Sir Lance a lot.
Trey Lance is conducting his Pro Demonstration Friday in famed Fargo, N.D.
And GM George will be among the witnesses, according to a tweet by an NFL Network reporter.
George Paton obviously wants to evaluate the 20-year-old quarterback because he might be available next month at the Broncos’ ninth overall position in the draft. Or maybe the Broncos’ general manager is interested because Lance grew up in Marshall, Minn., about three hours west of Paton’s former home in the Minneapolis area.
George didn’t attend the Senior Bowl, and he hasn’t ventured farther than a pizza pickup place close to Dove Valley.
Paton has moved into personal action as his predecessor, John Elway, would do randomly. Elway attended college games of Josh Allen and Drew Lock, dismissing the first QB and choosing the latter in the second round. John was curious about myriad other college quarterbacks in the 10 drafts he headed. Elway brought Dak Prescott and Paxton Lynch to Denver for interviews, saw a bunch at the Senior Bowl, drafted Lynch and, in low rounds, Zach Dysert and Chad Kelly. He also brought in undrafted free agents Kyle Sloter and Brett Rypien.
Elway always misfired on the position he should know best as a 1983 first overall pick, except the judgement on Lock still is to be determined.
It’s significant, though, that the Broncos would be considering veteran and eventual rookie quarterbacks to challenge or replace Lock.
I began researching Lance seriously, looking at every North Dakota State game of 2019 three weeks ago, when it became highly probable that Trey would be become one of five quarterbacks who will be selected in the first round — with maybe four in the top 10.
Lance has an incredibly high reward upside, but he’s also a high-risk selection. Too many first-round quarterbacks fail. Consider Lynch, Johnny Manziel and JaMarcus Russell. Since the beginning of the millennium, 60 quarterbacks have been selected in the first round. At least 20 were busts (33%), and another 20 were garden-variety common.
Drafting a quarterback is not precise science. The best quarterback in NFL history was chosen in the sixth round. Drew Brees was picked in the second round; Jack Elway liked him and John, who was being mentored as a scout by his dad, didn’t.
First-round picks Elway and Peyton Manning succeeded beyond dreams of teams.
Is Paton willing to draft a quarterback in the first round in his first year as GM? Is the gamble worth the odds?
Will Lance be The Man or a Jaq (Just Another Quarterback)?
But the same can be stated about Trevor Lawrence, the cinch No. 1 pick of the Jaguars, and Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and maybe Mac Jones, who will be the fifth QB off the board later in the opening round.
Lawrence is supposed to be the second coming of a Manning or an Elway, and Wilson has become the QB du jour who could be the next Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow.
Fields and Jones are question marks that many league executives believe will be great, but might be, uh, unpleasant.
Then, there’s Lance — described by some as Lamar Jackson waiting to bloom, while others think that because he played only one full year and at Division 1 level and is younger, he will require more time to develop, if he does develop.
Trey won 16 games and a national championship in 2019, as he completed 66.9% of his passes and produced 28 touchdowns, no interceptions, 1,100 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns.
N.D. State played only one game the past season and won, but Lance was a pedestrian 15 of 30 for 149 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He ran for 143 yards and two scores.
Carson Wentz was the Bison quarterback from 2012-15
Reports have suggested Lance could be drafted by the Falcons at No. 4 or the Panthers eighth, or the Patriots would trade with the Broncos to receive No. 9 and pick Lance.
Is Lance genuine? I say yes.
Paton will decide for himself Friday.