Trey Lance has a higher ceiling than Trevor Lawrence, says Charles Davis


On Thursday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars -- barring some unforeseen circumstance -- will have the luxury of drafting consensus top quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick and then kicking back in a recliner.

But does the Clemson product have the highest ceiling among the top-tier prospects at his position? NFL Network analyst Charles Davis would argue that he doesn't.

"I think [North Dakota State's Trey Lance] has got the highest ceiling," Davis told The DA Show on Wednesday. "And the reason I say that is not that Trevor Lawrence can't be exceptional -- and I expect him to be -- but he's closer to it because of where he's been, the games he's played in, the attention that he's had for so long, the elite athletics, you name it. So, is he closer to his ceiling? More than likely, just because of the way he's been coached up. With Trey Lance, it's not that he hasn't received coaching -- that's folly, he has -- but he's playing at North Dakota State. They were supposed to play, I believe, Iowa in 2020 and maybe another Power 5 [team], it didn't work out. So, he never got that opportunity. Everyone he played, I believe, was Division I-AA level.

"That's why I think it's there. And, he didn't play in 2020, so that's another year that he didn't get a chance to develop, in terms of game experience. That's why I think it's all there. I know it's a heavy burden to put the [Buffalo Bills quarterback] Josh Allen thing on him -- I just think the stories are so similar, it's almost like reading a book... Trey Lance has similar traits, similar skillsets. I know he loves the game. And we use that term all the time, but scouts and GM's have raved about his brain, and the enthusiasm, and how he carries himself, and the reports they get from people around him. They're totally sold on him as a person."

Lance, who's currently the No. 10 overall prospect on Pro Football Focus' NFL Draft Big Board and the fourth-best quarterback, racked up 4,272 yards of total offense with 30 passing touchdowns and 18 rushing scores across three seasons (19 total games) at North Dakota State. The 6-foot-4, 226-pound redshirt sophomore also set an NCAA record for passing attempts without an interception (287) back in 2019, and during the same season, he was named the top FCS freshman and top FCS player.

Although it remains unclear which team will take Lance -- Davis likes him at No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers in his latest mock draft -- he's bound to become just the sixth quarterback from an FCS program selected in the first round in the history of the draft's modern era.

The first round of the NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 29 at 8 p.m. ET in Cleveland.

The entire NFL Draft conversation between Davis and DA can be accessed in the video and audio players above.

You can follow The DA Show on Twitter @DAonCBS and @CBSSportsRadio, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.