Mitch Trubisky: Armchair Scouting Report
Mitch Trubisky is currently the top-rated quarterback on CBS Sports. He is a one-year starter for the University of North Carolina and someone that will have all eyes on him as we approach the NFL Combine. Let’s take a look at his profile.
What His Numbers Say
I also have Trubisky’s final year game log broken down to include the opposing defense’s rank against the pass via Football Outsiders S&P+:
|North Carolina State||15||23||38||60.5||280||3||0||148.5||9||55|
In his lone season as a starter, Trubisky managed to post an adjusted yards per attempt (AYA) of 9.1, the highest in the sample so far. He was also extremely efficient, throwing for 30 touchdowns, just six interceptions, and completing 68 percent of his passes.
Since 2000, there have been 36 different draft-eligible quarterbacks to have at least 28 touchdowns, less than eight interceptions, and a completion percentage over 65. Of those 36 QBs, 36 percent have been drafted in the first round, by far the most common outcome. Trubisky certainly looks the part of a top pick.
This cohort also managed to become productive signal callers in the pros, as 28 percent of eligible QBs recorded at least one QB1 season. If we look at just the first rounders (13 total), 46 percent have managed the feat at least one time.
If you recall, Trubisky also looks favorable when compared to his peers in similar matchups.
Trubisky was awesome against the five common opponents shared with Deshaun Watson and Brad Kaaya. He had the highest AYA and was tied for the most touchdowns, despite 12 less attempts per game than Watson. There is no doubt the UNC alum is one of the best passers in this class.
Player Comparison: Matt Leinart
Trubisky’s final season bears striking resemblance to Matt Leinart’s last year at USC. They were both pocket passers who posted very efficient closes to their college careers. Although the numbers are very similar, it should be noted that Leinart was a three-year starter at USC, while Trubisky started only in his final season. They are, however, very close in prospect age, both being over 22 years of age. A less experienced Leinart doesn’t scream “buy”, but this build of player has overall been fairly successful, as previously noted.
Ideal Landing Spot: Washington
This may seem a bit out of left field, but if all of the reports are true, Kirk Cousins does not wish to be a part of Washington’s long-term plans and 2017 could be his last year with the team. If that is the case, then Washington needs to start looking for a replacement as soon as possible. They pick in the middle of the first round, so grabbing Trubisky is not unreasonable. They also have a coach in Jay Gruden, who has gotten elite fantasy seasons out of Andy Dalton and Cousins, two signal callers who had less clout than Trubisky does now coming out of college. This would be a great fit for a player who potentially has some flaws, but has produced at the college level.
Current 2QB Fantasy Rookie Draft Projection: Mid-First Round (Late Second Round in 1QB Leagues)
Trubisky is most likely going to be the first or second quarterback off the board come draft day. As a result, I would expect his stock to be high in rookie drafts, probably the second QB drafted behind Watson. That puts him in the middle of the first round in 2QB leagues. In 1QB leagues, Trubisky figures to go towards the back-end of the second round, when the skill player pool starts to thin out.
I came into my evaluation of Trubisky with high expectations, hoping to see someone with the potential to be the next great NFL passer. Instead, I found someone who doesn’t appear to be quite as good as his numbers may indicate. While his overall profile is fairly strong, Trubisky is older (22.4) and doesn’t have quite as high-end of experience and production as some of his cohorts. It’s possible he is a starter at the next level, but I do think his ceiling is lower than I originally expected. Landing spot will be critical for him.