University of Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan has already made team history as a sophomore.
The Gophers finished the 2019 season with an 11-2 record and the most wins in program history in over 120 years. Morgan was a major conduit of the team’s success, setting the school’s single-season records in passing yards (3,253) and passing touchdowns (30).
Tanner Morgan put on a clinic in today’s upset of Penn State⁰⁰
🔸 339 passing yards
🔸 3 passing TDs
🔸 18/20 Comp/Att pic.twitter.com/LeZgxOTblE
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 10, 2019
Now I love watching the Vikings. I’m a big fan of Kirk Cousins. I think some people give him hate he doesn’t deserve. More importantly, I love what he does off the field.
Morgan, entering his junior season, will be available in the 2022 NFL Draft if he stays for his senior year and already has an affinity with Cousins. The two recently participated in a faith-based event together in April. If the Vikings were to draft Morgan, he would have the chance to study under Cousins in the final year of his current contract.
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Tanner Morgan Projected as an Early-Round Pick and NFL Starter
Although he wouldn’t be a Day One starter, Morgan has been seen as an NFL starter by ESPN senior analyst Mel Kiper.
“(Morgan) is heavily on the radar,” Kiper told the Pioneer Press. “He’s a guy to watch, potentially a future starter in the NFL. He’s got good pocket presence, throws a nice, catchable ball and he’s accurate. And he’s a leader.”
Morgan also set school single-season records in completion percentage (66.0%), passing yards per game (250.2), pass efficiency rating (178.7) and touchdown-interception ratio (4.28). He is 15-4 as a starter and led the Gophers to a 31-24 victory in the Outback Bowl against Auburn — one of the biggest wins in program history, per the Star Tribune.
That Auburn team was no pushover either, upsetting Alabama, and taking eventual national champion LSU to the wire in a 23-20 loss last season. Morgan put them away convincingly, completing 19 of 28 passes for 278 yards and two TDs. He also overcame an interception he threw on the game’s first drive.
Next season will be telling whether Morgan will forgo his senior year and enter the draft early, or stick around through the 2021 season.
Native Minnesotan & North Dakota State QB Available in 2021
North Dakota State University Bison quarterback Trey Lance, a standout dual threat from Marshall, Minn., is the third-highest ranked quarterback in the class of 2021, according to The Draft Network.
Lance would be a longshot for the Vikings to draft given his projected draft spot at No. 14 overall. The Vikings have rarely used first-round picks on quarterbacks and likely won’t be looking to address the position next year.
But one analyst says that Lance is even more impressive than Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields — and it’s simply the fact he doesn’t play at a major university that is limiting his draft appeal.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah made the case for Lance, who won the Walter Peyton Award presented to the best FCS athlete annually:
Off a snapshot of three games, I watched Trevor Lawrence, I watched Justin Fields and I watched Trey Lance, and trust me I came in with the idea that it would be Lawrence, a big gap then Fields and then a huge gap and Trey Lance. And then I watched it. Off these three games, you remove decals off helmets, I came away saying Trey Lance was the most impressive of the three guys.
Lance could be a worthwhile pick if he continues to be undervalued on draft boards.