Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace did what he had to do to get his guy early on Thursday night in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Pace traded four draft picks, including three 2017 picks, to select University of North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky at No. 2 overall. In a league that is quarterback dependent, time will tell if Pace's risk will pay off.
In a draft loaded with defense, Chicago opted to fix a need on the offensive side of the ball. After parting ways with Jay Cutler and then signing veteran Mike Glennon, the team now hopes Trubisky is the quarterback that can get this franchise back to its winning ways.
He will have the chance to compete right away with Glennon, who hasn't started a game in more than two years.
"I’m not really going to talk or say anything," Trubisky said after being drafted. "I’m going to come in, work and compete and that’s how you make your teammates better, that’s how you make the Bears quarterbacks better. The best quarterback is going to play, whoever is going to help the Chicago Bears win is going to play. That’s what I’m all about. Go in there, work, compete and make this team better."
The Bears met with Trubisky at his Pro Day and had a private workout with him as well. He went through it smoothly and even took snaps under center, something he didn't do while playing at UNC.
"I went through the day as if I was a Bears quarterback. We did individual drills, then I threw routes to my receivers that were out there," Trubisky said. "We did some pocket movement and stuff and some dropback, down-the-field throwing action. I guess they just wanted to see how I was progressing under center and if I could make all the NFL throws. I think they were impressed with the day I had."
Despite only starting in 13 games, Trubisky showed promise for the Tar Heels in 2016. He set single-season school records with 3,748 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 4,056 total yards of offense.
He rarely made a mistake, throwing only six interceptions in his one year as a starter and showed off his accuracy, which is something he noted as a strength in his game.
"I would definitely say my [strengths are my] accuracy and my ability to make all the throws on the field, my decision-making, and probably my poise and calmness," Trubisky said. "Aside from that, the things you can’t measure, my love for the game, my passion for my teammates and my competitiveness and will to win. The things that you can’t measure are I think what’s going to define me and help separate me in this league."
Despite his confidence, Trubisky had no clue where he was going to land come draft day, even with several rumors linking him back to his hometown team the Cleveland Browns.
"I had no idea," Trubisky said. "Going through this process I told myself I wasn’t going to think anything so whatever ends up happening that’s what was meant to be. I’m so glad it was Chicago. It’s going to be a great journey."
And as for a tweet that surfaced with Trubisky cheering for the Green Bay Packers back in 2015, the quarterback reassured Bears fans that he's not rooting for that team up north.
"I was never a Packers fan," Trubisky said. "I don’t know when that tweet is from. It was probably one specific game. I’m a Chicago Bear now, so none of that matters."