Washington Football Team 7-round mock draft: Trading up for Trey Lance

North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /
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North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /

Round 1

Before we get into the Washington Football Team’s trade, a brief rundown of recent events in the NFL is necessary. Word on the street is that Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are essentially locked in as the first and second picks, to the Jaguars and Jets respectively.

Additionally, the San Francisco 49ers recently made a trade up from No. 12 to No. 3 overall, presumably to pick a quarterback. Who should they pick? Probably QB2, Justin Fields. Who will they pick? That’s a different discussion.

But back to the scenario at No. 4 overall. Three quarterbacks are expected to go off the board with the first three picks, but there still remains one more high-upside quarterback option at No. 4, and that’s North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. On the surface, Atlanta seems like a good fit for him. However, reports have detailed further that the Falcons are open to trading back.

So for the right price, they could gift this opportunity to the Washington Football Team. Here’s what it took in this simulation:

Atlanta gets: No. 19 pick, No. 51 pick, No. 162 pick, 2022 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick

Washington gets: No. 4 pick, No. 187 pick

As expected, this trade hurts Washington in 2022, and they also lose a second-round pick in this year’s draft. There isn’t often going to be a trade up to No. 4 that won’t sting a little. However, the Washington Football Team does manage to keep both of their third-rounders — two selections that should convert into very good value this year. We’ll go into that more later.

For now, however, it’s on to the pick.

58. . Quarterback. Washington Commanders. Trey Lance. 1. player

If you’re already a fan of Trey Lance, then you won’t find too much information contradictory to your own opinion here. I’m a big fan of Lance, and I would love for Washington to be aggressive in acquiring him. If you’re not a fan of Trey Lance, allow me the chance to sell you on picking him at No. 4 overall.

Everyone has different philosophies when picking quarterbacks early, and there’s no tried-and-true method to success. Quarterback success is an incredibly volatile thing. Statistically, less than half of first-round quarterbacks even turn into franchise quarterbacks. But farther back in the draft, the hit rate is astronomically lower.

That’s why it’s important not to get frozen by the pressure, and look at each quarterback on a case-by-case basis. For me, the analysis starts with one simple question: Can they do more?

Naturally, the physical foundation is going to be more important in that initial evaluation, and upon evaluating Trey Lance’s tape, he can indeed do more.

Lance stands at 6-foot-4, 224 pounds, and he’s an elite athlete for his size. He didn’t test this offseason, but on film, his explosiveness surely stands out as he runs the football, and he also has good long speed as well — maybe not Justin Fields’ 4.4 speed, but close. On top of that, Lance is incredibly physical as a runner. I would like to seem preserve himself more, but he’s a fighter and a competitor, who teammates will rally around.

Additionally, Lance is a very natural thrower, both instinctually and mechanically. He still has a few lower-body inconsistencies to clean up — those play a hand in his hiccups with accuracy — but Lance can generate massive amounts of velocity and throw distance with a quick, smooth throwing motion.

Lance also understands the need for torque generation, and naturally squares his feet and shoulders before throwing. As if his throwing upside wasn’t already enticing, he’s also very natural off-platform.

Physically, there isn’t much Lance can’t do. But of course, the mental aspect is also important in the “do more” proposition. Plenty of physically talented quarterbacks have been drafted highly, only for teams to learn that the NFL was too fast and daunting for them.

Unfortunately, we can only see so far into Lance’s mental framework, but by all accounts, he’s a stellar leader with a good head on his shoulders. He also has some experience with NFL concepts. His offense at NDSU ran lots of misdirections, RPOs, and boots, among other things. In Scott Turner’s offense, Lance’s mobility would not only make the running game much more versatile, but also free up Turner to use more deception and dynamic play calls.

For a player as young as he is — 21 years old — Lance has inspiring mechanical congruency, and he’s also not the complete project he’s advertised as. Yes, there will be some projection, as he’s leaping from the FCS to the NFL. But coming to a good roster with a good stopgap quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick is a perfect situation for Lance. Washington’s situation mitigates the risk, while Lance provides all the necessary upside to be a game changer at QB, without the mental red flags.