Vikings show interest in top 2021 quarterback prospect

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance /

The Minnesota Vikings were among the teams scouting Trey Lance last weekend.

Following the conclusion of the 2019 season, the Minnesota Vikings decided to extend the contract of quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Vikings obviously felt Cousins did enough in his first two seasons to earn another lucrative contract from the team.

The extension keeps the veteran quarterback signed with Minnesota through until 2023. Cousins might not remain with the Vikings for the complete duration of his new deal, but he’s expected by most to stick around at least until the 2022 season.

If Minnesota is already thinking about life after Cousins, this would be a good year to invest an early-round draft pick in a quarterback prospect as there are a number of talented young passers who are expected to be available next spring.

Minnesota Vikings in attendance to scout Trey Lance

One of these top quarterback prospects is a kid who spent his college career not very far from the Vikings’ home stadium.

Despite playing for an FCS school, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance is regarded as one of the top young passers in the nation, and on Tuesday, he announced his decision to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

This past weekend, Lance played in his one and only game of the 2020 season, and most would agree that he lived up to the hype.

As he helped North Dakota State get a win over Arkansas State, the young signal-caller completed 50 percent of his passes for 149 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also carried the ball 15 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns.

There were a number of NFL teams who sent scouts to watch Lance take on Arkansas State and according to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, Minnesota had two scouts at the game to check out the young quarterback.

Now, traveling to North Dakota from Minnesota isn’t a difficult trip to make. So the Vikings didn’t exactly go out of their way to see Lance. But they also didn’t have to send anyone at all since they have Cousins under contract until 2023. So their interest in the young passer is still something to keep an eye on.

Maybe Minnesota is looking to add a young quarterback in the draft next year who they can sit for an entire season and groom them to replace Cousins in 2022?

It’s still very early in the pre-draft process and there’s also still a chance that Cousins could end up having a 2020 season that further cements him as the long-term option under center for the Vikings.

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At the very least, however, Minnesota is making sure they invest some of their time this year in checking out quarterback prospects who could potentially become their future face of the franchise.