Washington Football Team shouldn’t risk trading up for QB Trey Lance

North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Football Team has four quarterbacks on their roster currently. They added Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency to replace Alex Smith and have the young triage of Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, and Steven Montez as well.

But that doesn’t mean that the team is done looking for a quarterback. They could consider adding one in the 2021 NFL Draft to compete as a quarterback of the future behind Fitzpatrick. While they’re unlikely to land one with the 19th pick, they could consider one on Day 2.

Or they could consider trading up for a quarterback. That’s a possibility that exists, according to former NFL executive Michael Lombardi.

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In a recent episode of his podcast The GM Shuffle, Lombardi spoke of teams that could trade up for a quarterback and mentioned Washington as one of them. If they do that, he believes that they might be targeting North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

Here’s what Lombardi said, as transcribed by Ethan Cadeaux of NBC Sports Washington.

"I think Washington is going to be the next team to unload all their picks to try to get a QB. I think they love Lance. I don’t think, I know Washington loves Lance. So, will they trade up to get Lance? That remains to be seen."

Lombardi saying that he knows Washington loves Lance is notable at the very least. That alone could at least make them consider a move up.

That said, moving up for Trey Lance would be too risky for the Washington Football Team.

While Lance’s ceiling is sky-high, he is an incredibly raw 21-year-old prospect that has just one full year of starting experience at the FCS level. He has played in just one game over the last 16 months because of the FCS’s decision to move their season to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lance could certainly pan out, but he will probably need time to develop at the NFL level and it would be best for him to be in a situation where he wouldn’t be pressured to start right away (San Francisco and Atlanta stand out as options). The pressure would likely be there in Washington.

An argument could be made that sitting him behind Fitzpatrick for a year could work. But given that Fitzpatrick is volatile and Washington’s defense is a contender, any struggles for Fitzpatrick could lead to Lance being thrown into the fire too early. That would be a net negative for his overall development.

If Washington were in range to get Lance without the prospect of surrendering a big package to get him, that would be another story. But moving from the 19th pick into the top 10 or the No. 4 overall pick would cost a lot. They’d need to be certain that Lance would pan out if they were to make that type of move.

If they were trading up for someone like Justin Fields, a prospect with more proven experience against higher-level competition, that would be one thing. But as it stands, trading up to the No. 4 spot for a wild card like Lance is a risk that they shouldn’t take.

And it’s worth noting that Lance is in play for the 49ers’ No. 3 pick, so they might not even get him if they moved up to the fourth spot. As such, they’d have to be comfortable with multiple QB prospects if they moved up that high in the draft to get one.

Reviewing Washington's offense before 2021 NFL Draft. dark. Next

The best option for Washington right now looks like staying put and bolstering either their offensive line, receiver room, or linebacker group. We’ll see if they ultimately pull the trigger on a trade up to address the quarterback position or if they stick to Ron Rivera’s long-preferred strategy of taking the best player available wherever his team is picking.