Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Sports pulled off a major signing coup on Thursday as the agency signed Trey Lance, potentially the first quarterback off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft, for representation. Lance announced the move across his social media platforms.
The former North Dakota State gunslinger burst onto the scene in 2019, throwing for over 2,700 yards and rushing for 1,100 yards for 42 total touchdowns (28 passing, 14 rushing). Oh by the way, Lance did not throw a single interception and also completed 66.9% of his passes en route to winning the 2019 Walter Payton Award, given to the top FCS offensive player. He was the first freshman to win the award.
NDSU, the reigning FCS champion, cancelled its 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns but hosted Central Arkansas this past Saturday, which seemed like a showcase game for Lance more than anything else. Lance struggled through the air, though, only completing 50% of his passes (15-of-30), but he did register 143 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both have Lance as the ninth-best prospect in their 2021 NFL Draft rankings and the third-best quarterback prospect, behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. On the other hand, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah ranked Lance as the best quarterback prospect while appearing on The Ryen Russillo Podcast this past summer.
“There’s a maturity to the way that he plays. He takes the lay-ups that are there. He is selectively aggressive. When he gets his shots, he takes them. When I saw the no turnovers, I thought, ‘OK, maybe this guy is Checkdown Charlie.’ No, he fits balls in tight windows,” Jeremiah said, based on the three games that he watched on film of Lance.
“Vision-wise, I thought he was better than [Lawrence and Fields]. Decision making-wise, I thought he was better than the other two guys. All three of them are really good athletes in their own way, so I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing athleticism and I’m getting someone that is making all of the plays without any of the hangups. Maybe UC Davis, Nicholls, and Delaware are the three best games this kid has ever played in his life, but those are the three that I watched, and I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with this kid.’”
CAA Sports had 14 clients taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, including six selections in the first round: Joe Burrow (1st; Cincinnati Bengals), Javon Kinlaw (14th; San Francisco 49ers), CeeDee Lamb (17th; Dallas Cowboys), Justin Jefferson (22nd; Minnesota Vikings), Cesar Ruiz (24th; New Orleans Saints), and Isaiah Wilson (29th; Tennessee Titans). It was the 15th consecutive year that CAA Sports had at least two clients selected in the draft.