North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky is the second installation of our five-part series in which we take a close look at the top five quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft class, and how they fit the Chicago Bears.
While there will be more than five quarterbacks from which the Bears can choose, this class is top heavy with very little to offer after the big names.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Tarheel product who took the draft world by storm after just one year as a starter.
QB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
There is still a lot of uncertainty around Trubsiky due to his small sample size. Yet, even with just one year’s worth of starts under his collegiate belt, he received a first-round draft grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.
Trubisky was very impressive during his limited body of work and while some are skeptical due to his lack of experience, there’s no arguing his production last season (3,748 passing yards, 30 TDs, 6 INTs, 157.9 QB rating).
He's listed at 6-3, which is ideal height for an NFL passer, but there is some concern in that area, as Mike Mayock of the NFL Network reported that multiple scouts have told him that Trubisky is likely to measure in closer to 6-1. That could be an issue for some teams, especially if he’s selected in the first round.
While the 22-year-old doesn’t have many elite traits, if any, almost everything he does is well above average.
- Sneaky Athleticism: This trait caught me off guard when I initially dug into Trubisky's footage. Not only did he rush for 308 yards last year, his ability to use that athleticism to extend plays is Aaron Rodgers-like.
- Accuracy and Ball Placement: In this area, Trubisky is head and shoulders above his competition. He finished 2016 with a 68-percent completion percentage.
- Throwing Motion: He has very little wasted movement in his throwing motion, allowing him to hit receivers in tight windows and avoid pressure. Once again, this trait is at the top of his class.
- Consistently Reads Entire Field: Trubisky does a very nice job of going through his progressions and reading the entire field, which is a high-quality trait to have at the next level. This is something that I consistently saw through his 13 starts. He's a confident thrower.
- Velocity: One thing I’ve noticed through years of watching college quarterbacks is their inconsistent and often weak velocity on the majority of their throws. This is something at which Trubisky thrives. He has good pop on the majority of his throws, no matter the distance.
- Arm Strength: He’s not in the same league as DeShone Kizer and Patrick Mahomes but Trubisky still has well-above-average arm strength and shows that off on his deep balls.
- Pocket Presence: Trubisky is likely listed bigger than he’ll measure at the combine but it doesn’t stop him from displaying toughness in the face of the pass rush, with the ability to step up in the pocket and make throws under duress.
- Decision Making: Trubisky is the ultimate Anti-Jay-Cutler. He simply does not turn the ball over much through the air. He takes the right risks and his accurate ball placement allows for only his receivers to catch the ball.
- One-Year Starter: This is a big hang up for most, as Trubisky has just one year of experience under his belt. Yet it's worth noting that he saw sizable time during 2015 in “clean up” roles, throwing a total of 572 passes, which is just over 100 more than Kizer did in two year’s worth of starting.
- Footwork: Mechanically, Trubisky is pretty sound with his upper body but his bottom half is a different story. There were multiple times he relied on his arm to make throws rather than throwing off his plant leg, following through and making sure his lead foot was positioned correctly.
- Questioned Size: As stated above, although Trubisky is listed at 6-3, there’s concern he'll come in closer to 6-1.
- Worked Almost Completely Out of Shotgun: This is a bit of a turnoff but not a death wish. It’s going to be an adjustment at the next level, which means Trubisky may not be ready to start Week 1. He also needs to better understand coverages.
- Throwing on the Run: Trubisky’s accuracy was something to behold for the most part but when he was flushed from the pocket and threw on the run, it was a different story. This will be helped along by a pro-style offense but something that needs to be corrected to fully unlock his athleticism.
Trubisky’s evaluations differ between analysts, just like this entire class, but outside of his lack of experience, the 22-year-old has a lot to offer if he can clean up a few mechanical flaws.
Lack of experience makes his risk higher but based off pure evaluation, Trubisky to me looks like the “safest” quarterback in this class. There’s a lot to like and while he may not boast many elite traits, his flaws are all relatively minor and easily coachable.
Measurements will be a big deal for Trubisky but if he comes in around 6-2 and has big enough hands, he'll very likely be selected in the Top 3 of this year's class, possibly by the Bears, although he may not fall that far.
Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)null