The 2021 NFL Draft is going to be the center of discussion this offseason for the Carolina Panthers as they hold the No. 8 overall pick and are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback.
In Pro Football Focus' Latest mock draft, they have the Panthers selecting North Dakota State QB Trey Lance with that eighth pick. Would it be the right decision?
In my opinion, it would be reaching. I get the hype and the reason to believe he can be good but will he be a franchise guy? I'm skeptical. All of this talk about him and Carson Wentz coming from the same FCS school means nothing to me. You can't judge quarterbacks or any position for that matter based on what school a player goes to or coach a guy has. A perfect example is Daniel Jones with the New York Giants. Everyone loved him coming out of Duke because he had David Cutcliffe as his head coach who obviously has a long history of developing quarterbacks, most notably Peyton and Eli Manning. The only problem? Daniel Jones is nowhere near those two guys.
To me, Trey Lance should be picked somewhere in the low to mid-20s. The only reason he will go higher is because teams will not wait for a guy that has a first-round grade to slide in the draft. They will either take him earlier than he should go out of fear that he will be snatched up before their pick. That's why you'll oftentimes see the top three quarterbacks go in the top five or six picks in the draft.
Aside from Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, I think every other quarterback in the draft class has a lot of developing to do before they can be successful in the NFL. Heck, I may even throw BYU's Zach Wilson in that group because I think he has a ton of upside and could make a difference as a rookie.
Drafting for need should never be the approach. Just because you need a quarterback, doesn't mean it makes sense to draft one at No. 8. There are going to better options at that pick over Lance. I understand it's hard to be patient to find the next "franchise quarterback" but you would be doing your franchise a disservice if you just draft out of necessity. Now, this doesn't mean that my stance on Lance can't change over the next few months but as of right now, I feel drafting him with the 8th pick would be reaching.
You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top right-hand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook - @PanthersOnSI