The Chicago Bears stunned just about everyone on Thursday night when they pulled the trigger on a deal with the San Francisco 49ers to move up to the second overall selection, in which they drafted Mitchell Trubisky, the Quarterback out of the University of North Carolina.
After the Browns made the obvious selection with the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, selecting Myles Garrett, Ryan Pace made a bold move to get the Bears quarterback of the future, but the hefty price tag paid in such a deep draft might just define Pace’s future with the Bears. But before we touch on that, let’s get to know the Bears new QB, Mitch Trubisky, and dive into the Bears needs moving forward in the draft.
Mitchell Trubisky is somewhat of a question mark for me at this point. He obviously has first round talent, and the size and skills to potentially parlay that talent into a successful NFL career, but his collegiate body of work just isn’t large enough for me to feel comfortable completely justifying the Bears taking him at number two overall, especially considering the amount of draft picks that they sent to San Francisco for the rights to the second overall selection.
Trubisky spent his first two seasons at North Carolina as a back-up to former Tar Heels QB, Marquise Williams, passing for 1,014 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions in limited playing time in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 Trubisky, the former Ohio Mr. Football Award Winner out of high school, took over as the starter at North Carolina.
Trubisky completed 304 of 447 passes for the Tar Heels in 2016 for 3,748 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. Trubisky’s 68.0 completion percentage ranked fifth in the country, and he flashed his mobility on multiple occasions, rushing for 308 yards and five touchdowns.
Among Trubisky’s strengths is his size and physical strength, standing in at 6’2″ and 222 pounds with an excellent muscular frame that will allow him to withstand the punishment of NFL pass rushers. Aside from his size and physicality, Trubisky’s mobility will allow him to avoid opposing pass rushers, and stretch the pocket and make plays outside of the box if the pocket collapses.
Trubisky has been praised for his calm demeanor and presence under center in regards to running his offensive unit, and making decisions, evident by his low number of interceptions, and complimentary towards his mobility in the pocket as well.
While Trubisky lacks a larger body of work, and has rarely ever taken a snap outside of the shotgun, his mechanics are solid enough to outweigh his inexperience in a pro-style offense, and his footwork, which is the least NFL ready trait that he possesess at this point.
The throwing mechanics and delivery are very smooth and efficient, and Trubisky has a keen ability to cycle through his reads quickly and rarely made poor throwing decisions during his time under center with the Tar Heels. Trubisky posted a 62 percent completion percentage on intermediate throws in 2016, a number that is unmatched by any other QB’s in this draft class.
While Trubisky has gone from highly rated dual threat quarterback out of high school, to back-up quarterback in college, to starting quarterback, and seen his draft stock bounce all over the first round in the months leading up to this year’s NFL Draft; the skills and the intangibles to back them are definitely there, and Trubisky has a chance to become a solid NFL starting quarterback.
The problem with this pick for the Bears isn’t so much the pick himself, but the draft picks that the Bears spent to move up just one spot to select him. Mick Mayock of NFL.com said it pretty well this evening,
“I’m going to be the first one to put my hand up and say I obviously did not see that coming. I really thought that Chicago was excited about Mike Glennon. So they paid him pretty well and then to move up and give up that draft capital for Trubisky, for me, it’s a big risk.” — Mike Mayock, NFL.com
It’s a risk, a big risk for the Bears. The Bears are rebuilding, and have quite a few positions of concern to address moving forward. Yes, quarterback was one of them, but the idea of drafting the best available player at number three was an idea that sat well with a fan-base that has seen it’s favorite franchise swing and miss far too often with early round draft picks.
Jamal Adams was a safe pick for the Bears that would have filled a huge need in the secondary at the same time. Solomon Thomas was another safe pick that would have filled a need for the Bears on the defensive line. Moving up, and spending multiple picks in a deep draft to do so, is a move that can either make Ryan Pace look like a genius, or cost him his job down the line.
The shock, and the return attached to the pick will have an adverse affect on how Bears fans receive their new quarterback of the future, and that’s not really fair. If the risk pays off, and Trubisky lives up to potential, excellent. If it doesn’t, then Ryan Pace should fall on the sword for his gamble. In the mean time though, let’s not confuse our feelings with Bears management decisions, with our feelings on Mitch Trubisky as a player, because he’s actually pretty good.
The Bears now need to address multiple positions in this draft, with only four more selections after the trade with San Francisco. The Bears have a second round, fourth round, fifth round, and seventh round selection to work with moving forward. The biggest need at this point is now on the defensive side of the ball. They could move on Malik McDowell with the 36th pick to address the defensive line, or they could add to the secondary in a draft that is pretty deep at the safety position.
Hard to narrow down a pick for the Bears at number 36 at this point with the first round still underway, but we will dive into the potential second round selections before day two kicks off on Friday in Philadelphia.