FARGO — If Charles Davis was advising the front offices for the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons, the NFL Network analyst would lobby for former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

San Francisco has the No. 3 overall selection for the NFL Draft, which starts Thursday, April 29, in Cleveland. Atlanta is right behind the 49ers with the No. 4 selection.

“He’s the full combo of everything you’re looking for … size, speed, got the biggest arm in the draft,” Davis said recently during an interview on The Dan Patrick Show. “Now, what that means to everyone, I don’t know. Is that like a Nolan Ryan fastball that he couldn’t control early in his career or is it the Nolan Ryan fastball later?”

San Francisco has been linked by many draft analysts to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones since the 49ers traded up to third selection. Lance and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields are also players San Francisco could consider at that spot.

“We hear about the brain, the football IQ of Trey Lance, he’s the gym rat that you want, and when I see him put it all together, I’m excited about watching this progress,” Davis said. “That’s why if I’m San Francisco at 3, I’m taking a good, hard look at him, Fields and Mac Jones before I make that final decision.”

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San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch reportedly attended Lance’s second pro day, which was Monday, April 19, in the Fargodome. That workout was closed to the media. Atlanta, the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots also reportedly attended Lance’s second pro day. The Broncos have the No. 9 overall selection, while the Patriots have the No. 15 pick.

The 6-foot-4, 226-pound Lance made 17 starts during his NDSU career, winning all 17. He played one game for the Bison last October, a 39-28 victory against Central Arkansas at the Fargodome. As a redshirt freshman, Lance led NDSU to a 16-0 record en route to the 2019 NCAA Division I FCS national championship.

During that 2019 season, Lance passed for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns and no interceptions and rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 TDs.

“All I know is this, the kid is 17-0, 16-0 and North Dakota State has been good for a long time and they’ve won championships with Easton Stick with Carson Wentz with Brock Jensen, who is one people might not remember who kept Carson Wentz on the bench. So they know how to win,” Davis said, referring to the three quarterbacks who preceded Lance at NDSU.

Former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, right, is projected to be a top-10 selection in the upcoming NFL Draft in Cleveland. David Samson / The Forum
Former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, right, is projected to be a top-10 selection in the upcoming NFL Draft in Cleveland. David Samson / The Forum

In a recent NFL.com article, Davis identified Lance as one of the 17 prospects he would “pound the table for” during the draft, which is a three-day event.

Davis wrote: “So, if I'm in the draft room with Kyle Shanahan when the 49ers are on the clock at No. 3 after (Trevor) Lawrence and Zach Wilson are picked (as we all expect), I'm telling him that if you're planning to stick with (quarterback) Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021, this is a perfect situation for Lance. But once Lance takes over, San Francisco will be set at the QB position for the next decade-plus.”

Davis also said during his The Dan Patrick Show interview, that Atlanta would be an ideal landing spot for Lance since the Falcons have an established veteran QB in Matt Ryan.

“I think he would be ideal, to me it’s the perfect fit at 4 because Matt Ryan is going to play,” Davis said. “So even if Matt Ryan is upset that you draft a quarterback, and every quarterback that’s a starter gets mad if you draft another quarterback, even in the seventh round, he’s going to take care of this young man. He’s going to show (Lance) the right example, he’s going to teach him all of those things.”

Lance has accepted his invitation to be in Cleveland for the NFL Draft, the NFL recently announced. Lance’s first pro day was March 12 at the Fargodome with 30 of the 32 NFL teams represented at that workout, including the Minnesota Vikings. Lance was at the Fargodome on Saturday, April 24, to watch the Bison earn a 42-20 victory against Eastern Washington in the first round of the FCS playoffs. Lance was shown on the ESPN3 broadcast in the Bison coaching box, wearing a headset.

Former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance (5) made 17 starts during his Bison career, posting a 17-0 record. David Samson / The Forum
Former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance (5) made 17 starts during his Bison career, posting a 17-0 record. David Samson / The Forum

Lance could be the second Bison quarterback to be taken in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. The Philadelphia Eagles selected Wentz at No. 2 overall in 2016. The Los Angeles Chargers drafted Stick in the fifth round in 2019.

Davis compared Lance to Buffalo Bills starting quarterback Josh Allen, who the Buffalo Bills selected at No. 7 overall in 2018. The 6-foot-5, 237-pound Allen played three seasons at Wyoming, for former Bison head coach Craig Bohl, before he entered the NFL.

Allen completed 69% of his passes for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns with 10 interceptions for the Bills last season, his third in the NFL. He led Buffalo to a 13-3 record during the regular season.

“My comp for him is Josh Allen,” Davis said. “He and Josh were both doubted coming out of high school, both of them ended up at schools off the beaten path, both of them have been plagued with the ‘I don’t know how accurate he is? I don’t know if he plays against good competition?’ And we’ve seen how Josh has progressed.”