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Sam’s Film Room: Mitch Trubisky’s red flags make me hesitant to draft him in the first

NCAA Football: The Citadel at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

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Becoming a full-time starter for just one season, Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina is seen by many as a first round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. The former three-star, dual threat quarterback from Ohio, spent his first three seasons backing up Marquise Williams before finally starting during the 2016 season. After a highly productive season, he decided to forgo his eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.

At UNC, he showed a quick release, plus accuracy, and was surprisingly slippery in the pocket. Poor pocket awareness from edge rushers, how he sometimes panics under pressure, and limited experience are his biggest weaknesses.

Overall, Trubisky has some high level traits that could make him a franchise quarterback. However, there are definitely some red flags and this is why I gave him an early-second round grade:

  1. Him not being able to unseat Marquise Williams, a future undrafted quarterback.
  2. His vision and mechanics seem to erode under pressure.
  3. Significant drop off in production versus ranked teams as evidenced in the chart below.

Mitch Trubisky Stats at UNC
Mitch Trubisky Stats versus Ranked and Unranked Opponents in 2016

From a pro comparison standpoint, I think Andy Dalton from the Cincinnati Bengals fits him the best in my opinion. Both quarterbacks have quick releases who are generally accurate passers. They have similar above-average arm strength with good mobility in the pocket. Both quarterbacks also struggled with pocket awareness not fully sensing pressure coming from the edge.

While the Seattle Seahawks are obviously set with Russell Wilson at the quarterback position, a division rival in the San Francisco 49ers could be a great fit for his skill-set. Head coach Kyle Shanahan could pair his zone stretch offense with Trubisky’s natural athleticism giving him an easier transition to start his career. Another possible landing spot could be with Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns at Pick #12.