Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina (6’2 | 222 | 4.67)
Widely considered the top overall quarterback prospect in this year’s draft class, but Trubisky is not without question marks either. A strong combine performance may have sealed his spot in the top half of the draft, but I’m not sold he’s the top quarterback option available.
Trubisky has an ideal combination of size, foot speed, and arm strength, but has only made 13 starts in college while leading the Tar Heels to an 8-5 record. His lack of starting experience is by far the biggest knock on Trubisky’s draft profile.
The old-school NFL mantra (credited to Bill Parcells) is that college quarterbacks need 30 starts at that level to be ready for the NFL. Trubisky didn’t even get halfway there and teams are understandably worried about his ability to read complex NFL defenses. Against Stanford in the bowl game, Trubisky was often confused by their pro-level defensive alignments which led to a couple of interceptions and overall mediocre play. It’s just going to get more complicated at the next level.
While Trubisky is the most accurate quarterback in the draft when it comes to short and intermediate passes, but his deep ball will need to improve. He has a tendency to float deep passes (like most young QBs) and hadn’t developed enough timing with his receiving core to know how much he could lead them.
Inexperience is really the only big knock on Trubisky though. An offshoot of that inexperience is whether Trubisky has the leadership skills that teams want in their signal caller. He has a quiet demeanor that could be taken for a lack of leadership, but there just isn’t enough tape on Trubisky to know for sure. The fact that he couldn’t beat out mediocre QB Marquis Williams in 2015 is also another question mark teams may have on Trubisky.
Despite a few marks in the negative column, Trubisky has the height and stocky build that teams look for in their franchise quarterbacks. His arm is strong enough to make every NFL throw with zip, anticipation, and touch when needed. Trubisky also surprised scouts with a 4.67 40-time at the combine, showing the speed to gain yards on the ground if needed.
Physically, Trubisky checks all the necessary boxes and has the potential to be a top-tier NFL quarterback. He’s strong enough to hit every NFL route and fast enough to be an Alex Smith type dual-threat at the next level. How quickly Trubisky can learn to make pre-snap reads and not get overwhelmed by NFL speed, will determine how fast (if ever) he gets to his ceiling.
Comps: Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo