When you look around the NFL, the recipe for success starts and ends at one position – quarterback. Winning without a field general is next to impossible in a league that is dominated by passing and spread offenses.
And it’s no coincidence the majority of teams near the top of the NFL draft all need a signal caller. From Cleveland to Chicago and up to Buffalo, teams without a franchise quarterback are often stuck in a rut of mediocrity.
So in a few weeks when these teams are on the clock, many of them will glance at their big board and see the same name – North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky.
Unlike in year’s past where the draft consisted of several quality quarterbacks, 2017 presents only one that has all the intangibles. Yes, guys like Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer are options, but they each have their flaws. At times Watson struggles with accuracy, and although Kizer has a cannon for an arm, it remains to be seen if he is capable of running an NFL offense.
This leaves Trubisky as the most polished quarterback.
Will his numbers and accolades blow scouts away? Absolutely not. Trubisky started only one full season at Chapel Hill after having to wait his turn behind Marquise Williams. When he finally got his chance, Trubisky only made the 3rd team All-ACC with Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Watson also in the fold.
That said, Trubisky cannot be overlooked.
At 6’2, 225 pounds, Trubisky is the ideal size for an NFL quarterback. He has big hands to grip and protect the football and maneuvers well in the pocket. Even with the defense bearing down on him, Trubisky is not afraid to step up and take a big hit to complete a pass.
When protection breaks down, Trubisky has the quickness and mobility to extend plays, but does not solely rely on his feet. Even in chaotic situations, Trubisky is able to utilize his arm strength to make throws across the field or across his body. In 2016, Trubisky ranked fifth in the country completing 68 percent of his passes while throwing for 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
Trubisky’s footwork in the shotgun is also above average, as he is always ready to uncork the ball at any given time. He progresses through his reads crisply and always scans the field before making a decision on where to throw the ball. His soft, delicate touch on over-the-shoulder passes and deep balls allow wide receivers to go up and make plays in the air, frequently leading to big gains.
Like this one.
If that doesn't sell you, just look at his deep ball.
But Trubisky doesn't just have an arm -- he has moves in the open field, too. Take a look at this B-button spin move that picked him up an extra 15-20 yards.
Where Trubisky may literally fall down, however, is under center. At North Carolina, this was a formation he rarely used. Once he is drafted, Trubisky will need to adjust fast to the pro-style offense he’ll be asked to run. He will also need to improve picking up blitzes, especially stunts and pressure off the edge.
Even when his weaknesses are taken into account, Trubisky's upside far outweighs any questions scouts may have. If he can make the jump from collegiate to pro competition, Trubisky is capable of being an elite NFL quarterback.
If you were a franchise in need of a QB, would you draft Mitch Trubisky with your top pick? Share your thoughts with Reece on Twitter @reecewaddell15.