NFL Mock Drafts 2021: Patriots expected to trade for QB Trey Lance by ESPN’s Mel Kiper
The last 2021 ESPN’s Mel Kiper simulated draft screening has the New England Patriots in the top 10 to catch a quarterback: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance.
Kiper’s latest NFL Draft screening features a series of deals (a rarity for him) that sees five quarterbacks drop off the board in the top nine picks. In this simulation, the Patriots walk away with the last of Lance’s five quarterbacks.
Lance is a particular prospect, declaring for the draft following the fall season of a game for his NDSU team (derailed due to COVID-19). Still, Lance is a highly touted prospect with enormous talent. Here’s what Kiper has to say about choice.
“Lance could be (the answer)”, Kiper wrote in his draft. “He’s only started 17 career games in college – all against the FCS competition – but he’s only 20 and has all the tools to be a great double-threat quarterback. Keep in mind that the Patriots also have a few returning players after retiring from last season, so they can compete in the AFC East again.
Lance is a small school prospect, but he fits the physical mold of a top-notch quarterback at an FBS powerhouse. At 6 feet 4 inches, 226 pounds, he’s an ideal height for the NFL. On top of that, he received rave reviews for his precision, arm strength, and decision making. The real question for him is whether he can move from the FCS level straight to NFL competition after a curtailed college career.
So how much would it take to get to # 9? The prices of the exchanges vary according to the members of the board of directors. If the Patriots try to get the last top-tier quarterback available, it would likely be expensive.
“The Patriots should send the Broncos at least the No. 15 pick, a second round pick and a 2022 pick,” Kiper wrote. “And I wouldn’t be shocked if it took the first round of the Pats 2022 to secure the deal on the finish line.”
One fascinating element of Kiper’s simulation project is that he has Lance as the fifth quarterback coming off the board. When it came to simulation projects, there was a pretty solid consensus for the ranking of quarterbacks.
1. Trevor Lawrence of Clemson (No.1 Jaguars)
2. BYU’s Zach Wilson (almost always in the top four)
3. Justin Fields from Ohio State (a little more varied, from # 2 to # 15)
4. Trey Lance (rarely falling in the top 10)
5. Mac Jones of Alabama (who should fall until the end of the first round)
Jones has been an extremely successful player in college, but draft experts weren’t quite convinced of his potential. He has been a popular choice for the Patriots at No. 15 in a number of simulations.
However, the tale begins to turn on Jones. Earlier this week, former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum said that there was no way Jones would fall further than No.8. Well, Kiper’s projection fits that idea.