2017 NFL Draft
Scouting Report
Prospect:  Mitch Trubisky


School:          North Carolina
Ht:  6'3"       Wt:  220
Eligibility:      JR
Uniform:       #10
Position:      QB

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Entering the season, it seemed as if fans and scouts were stretching to find the next big quarterback prospect in a class of eligible players that truly lacked one. Deshaun Watson was the name everyone knew, while Brad Kaaya was entering his third year as a starter at Miami. Neither was the overall package that Jameis Winston or Andrew Luck were, but the fan in us let our imagination take an optimistic route. Then DeShone Kizer wowed us with an elite combination of size and arm strength, but a less-than-stellar season by the Fighting Irish has stunted his mental growth that was crucial to him becoming a true candidate to be the top signal-caller drafted. Now Trubisky is the "Flavor of the Month." Unfortunately, I think we are once again reaching to fall in love with the top quarterback we so desperately desire. Having said that, Trubisky reminds me a lot of Kizer in a sense that I believe a lot of the area he needs to improve on is the mental side of things.

Now let's get to the positives. Trubisky has good size and slightly less-than-elite arm strength. The ball explodes off his fingertips, and he usually throws an extremely catchable spiral. He is also a solid athlete that shows both good footwork in the pocket, as well as escaping it. Unlike most of the other quarterback prospects in the country, he is also not crippled by a system that is very simplistic or cuts the field in half. He often goes through progressions that scan the full length of the field. He occasionally shows good touch when necessary and isn't afraid to put some zip on it as well.

As mentioned earlier, he does play like a guy who has only started one season at the college level. While his completion percentage may have been the sparkling statistic that got everyone focused on Trubisky in the first place, it is important to point out that they run a fair amount of screen passes, and the talented North Carolina receiving core is one of the best in the country at catching anything that hits their hands. Also, one of my biggest issues with Trubisky is how often he is late on his passes. I know he goes through his progressions because you can clearly see him do it but it always seems the ball comes out later than it should. I know his motion is short and compact. Whether he is behind in his progressions or just reacting slowly to what he sees, there are balls that often find contested receivers when they were initially open, and the pass just wasn't thrown soon enough. It could also be that he hasn't yet developed the ability to anticipate windows in the coverage or the chemistry with his players to know when they are going to come out of their breaks. Whatever the issue, being late with your reads in the NFL will result in some very poor outcomes.

Another big issue with his game is how often he throws from a less-than-desirable platform. One of the major issues with quarterbacks with big arms is how often they rely solely on it. Too many times Trubisky throws off his back foot or off-balance without pressure. Accuracy comes from a consistent process. Quarterbacks throw hundreds of passes daily in practice and the majority of them come from a solid platform with a consistent motion. Because they repeatedly do this, they develop accuracy, so when they stray from this process, it usually cost them. It also partially negates that arm strength which may not be an issue in the college game but results in much more interceptions and passes defensed in the NFL.

The shining light in all of this is the two major issues I mentioned are products of inexperience. The more he plays as a high-level, the better he should get in those areas. That is why I would recommend him return for his senior year at North Carolina. While he could be the top quarterback drafted in a weaker class this coming April, he could enter his senior year with the kind of hype that revolves around a future first-overall pick. The truth is Trubisky is an extremely smart kid, and a dedicated worker. With another year at in Chapel Hill, he could develop into the kind of prospect Luck and Winston were. Still, it is never safe to assume progression will come, and that is why I would have a hard time selecting him in the top 10 in 2017.

Compares to (Current NFL Player): Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions) or Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears)

- Good size and build
- Near-elite arm strength
- Good athleticism for the position
- Short, compact throwing motion
- More accustomed to going through progressions than most college quarterbacks
- Smart kid

- Timing needs to improve
- Throws from a poor platform too often
- Limited experience at the college level

Austin Smith
December 3, 2016

1)   How UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky made difficult decision to enter NFL draft    - The News and Observer
2)   4 NFL Draft: Are 49ers and Mitch Trubisky, Stanford's Sun Bowl opponent, a perfect match?   - San Jose Mercury News
3)   UNC Football: Mitch Trubisky's stock soaring    - Fansided Keeping it Heel
4)   Mitch Trubisky Twitter
5)   Mitch Trubisky Instagram

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