Is all the attention being paid to Justin Fields just a smokescreen by Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots? Former NFL President and ESPN analyst Joe Banner didn’t say that, but he does believe New England’s best fit at QB might be North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
Banner took to Twitter to warn the rest of the NFL not to allow Belichick to get a hold of Lance, because the duo could do some extraordinary things in the league.
Banner wrote, “That coach with that QB on a rookie contract for five years would be scary for everyone who isn’t a Pats fan.”
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Banner is a huge fan of Lance, whom he believes may be getting the short end of the stick from an evaluation standpoint. He calls Lance “the smartest of the top four,” including Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson and Ohio State’s Justin Fields.
Why Lance and Belichick Could Be a Match Made in Patriots Heaven
While Lance didn’t play in 2020 because his conference’s games were canceled due to the pandemic, he had a sterling 2019 season. Lance lit up the Missouri Valley Conference, throwing for 2,786 yards, 28 TDs and no interceptions.
In addition to the passing numbers, Lance ran 1,100 yards and 14 TDs. He is 6 feet, 4 inches tall, 226 pounds, powerfully built and plays like a cross between Russell Wilson and prime Cam Newton. No one knows if he’ll pan out in the NFL, but the physical traits and what appears to be a solid set of intangibles have many excited.
ESPN’s Field Yates had glowing praise for him in this tweet and video feature:
Considering Belichick’s recent fascination with dual-threat quarterbacks and Lance’s arm talent that suggests he’s not limited in the throwing aspects of the position, it’s easy to see why Banner might envision them forming a two-part Voltron in the future.
Can’t Fields Do a Lot of the Same Things?
Fields has many of the same dual-threat skills that Lance possesses. However, some still think Fields is a bit more robotic when it comes to cycling through his progressions, and because of that, a quick decision-maker like Lance would have an edge on him in the pro game.
The only genuine concern most talent evaluators seem to have with Lance is his level of competition and limited experience as a starter. If Lance had played in the SEC, ACC or Big Ten, he might be the No. 1 overall prospect, even ahead of Lawrence.
As it stands, if the Jacksonville Jaguars take Lawrence, the New York Jets follow suit by drafting Wilson at No. 2 and the San Francisco 49ers go with either Fields or Alabama’s Mac Jones, Lance could be in play for the Patriots and other teams to trade up to draft.
If Banner is correct, the NFL better start playing keep-away with the Patriots from the No. 4 pick down.
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