Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
(percentile rank among all QBs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.67 seconds (82nd)
Vertical: 27.5 inches (13th)
Broad: 116 inches (81st)
3-cone: 6.87 seconds (83rd)
20-yard shuttle: 4.25 seconds (67th)
One season. 13 games.
That’s all we have to assess Mitch Trubisky, who sat behind dual-threat QB Marquise Williams in 2014 and 2015.
When Trubisky gets drafted, he’ll be the first passer taken in Round 1 with fewer than 15 college starts since Cam Newton (2011).
Should that give pro teams and fantasy players pause? Maybe. But as we’ll see, there’s a reason this Ohio native is garnering top-10 buzz. A few, actually.
Trubisky’s game centers on accuracy. He posted a shiny 68.2% completion rate in 2016, and he did so despite a dreadful showing vs. Virginia Tech (58 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs on 13 of 33 passing). There’s a good excuse for the outlier performance, though. Receivers dropped several passes while playing in heavy rain and wind brought on by Hurricane Matthew.
Charting from Pro Football Focus helps capture Trubisky’s impressive ball placement. Per PFF, only 7.3% of his total passes arrived off target — lowest among the 15 QBs at the Combine.
Now, we’ll still see some cases of questionable decision-making. That’ll be true for any QB. But for the most part, Trubisky took excellent care of the ball. At one point last season, he went 243 straight passes without an INT.
Trubisky’s stock has remained hot entering April. As expected, he aced his March 21 Pro Day. He also revealed that the Browns, Jets, Chiefs, 49ers and other teams will work him out privately.
One final note from the Pro Day. A personnel director dished out a surprising NFL comp of Aaron Rodgers, per ESPN’s Todd McShay.
Just a tad ambitious…
Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com
Games watched - Pittsburgh, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami, Virginia, Duke, NC State, Stanford, Georgia, Georgia Tech
I’ll get to Trubisky’s passing talent in a moment, but let’s first examine his rushing. After all, that’s a key attribute for raising fantasy floors.
The first clip shows an ability to make plays in space. These zone-reads weren’t uncommon for a UNC offense that used shotgun sets on nearly 97% of their snaps.
Bottom line: Trubisky isn't a sitting duck in the pocket. He doesn't throw ducks, either. Below, he shows adequate sideline arm strength. Overall, his arm proved capable of making every necessary throw at the pro level.
Here are a couple of those NFL-type throws, with an emphasis on anticipation...
Trubisky throws a nice ball on the corner route, run by go-to WR (and 2017 prospect) Ryan Switzer.
Blitz recognition is widely considered a weakness -- not a shock considering his relative lack of experience. But he could still sling it despite facing pressure. It's tough to find a better example than the next clip.
UNC's shotgun heavy scheme could produce a steep NFL learning curve. Jared Goff dealt with the same hurdle last year, and, well, you know how that went. It's something to monitor as he works through OTAs, minicamps and beyond.
The zone-read -- an effective college offense -- often opened up clear reads and windows to zip passes. (That's in addition to the abundance of screens UNC ran.) This next clip highlights 1 particularly easy throw vs. an undisciplined defense.
Trubisky tossed only 6 INTs in 2016: 2 vs. Virginia Tech, 2 vs. Duke and 2 vs. Stanford. Largely, he failed to recognize lurking, underneath defenders. We see that in these final clips -- despite clean pockets.
Dak Prescott’s QB9 finish last year was the best by a rookie since Andrew Luck in 2012. Trubisky might flash in 2017, but you’re not taking him in rookie drafts expecting an instant impact.
(Breaking news, right?)
Long-term, though, Trubisky has the tools to enter the fantasy radar. Above average rushing ability builds a solid fantasy floor. Plus accuracy — supported by a consistent delivery — and solid arm strength provides the ammo to hit the ceiling.
But for now, the hype here is largely about potential. Again, he started just 13 games at UNC — and 2 came against James Madison and The Citadel. While the tape shows promise, there’s still a wide range of outcomes for Trubisky's NFL career.