North Dakota State quarterback and likely first-round pick, Trey Lance, told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo that he intends to rest on his GPS time of 21.54 mph from a touchdown run in 2019 against James Madison instead of running a 40-yard dash at his pro day this week. It’s a decision that could begin a new trend of top prospects using favorable in-game analytics in lieu of the traditional on-field pre-draft testing like the 40-yard dash.
“I really like the GPS. I think it makes sense,” Lance told Garafolo. “I’m not the person who makes the ultimate decisions, but it makes sense to have guys’ real speed instead of a 40. I know the 40 has been part of the combine and draft process for as long as anybody can remember so I understand that as well.”
Lance’s decision to pass on the 40 won’t impact his draft stock, just like it didn’t impact Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s during his draft cycle in 2018. It’s obvious on tape that Lance is at another level when it comes to quarterback athleticism and a stopwatch isn’t going to tell us anything we don’t already know. Plus, the GPS time is a fantastic indicator of just how gifted of an athlete he is. According to Garafolo, Lance’s 21.54 mph would’ve been the fastest among all NFL quarterbacks in 2020.
Speed and athleticism aside, Lance has some hurdles to overcome before he can be pegged as a clear-cut franchise quarterback. His inexperience as a starter combined with the level of competition that he dominated in 2019 (FCS-only) makes him a risky pick despite all of his natural traits.
Still, playing quarterback in the NFL is about creativity outside of structure and escapability with your legs now more than ever. Lance checks those boxes.
North Dakota State’s pro day is scheduled for Friday, March 12,