By: Dan Dankert
I heard an analyst say the three most important jobs at an NFL organization are as follows:
- General Manager
- Head Coach
Outside of the two people who are directly responsible for the creation of a roster, and the man charged with turning that roster into a winning team, the quarterback is the most important job in an NFL organization. It’s for reasons like this that quarterbacks are taken in the draft higher than they often should be. In every year but 2, since 2000, there has been a quarterback taken in the top 3 picks. This year should be a year where no quarterback is drafted in the first three picks.
This is the weakest quarterback class I think I have ever seen. The top two quarterbacks in this class Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson are not good enough to be starting NFL quarterbacks next season. In this article I will just be talking about Trubisky. Before I get started in the nitty gritty analysis let’s compare Trubisky to some other recent quarterback picks.
Physically Trubisky quite a bit better than almost everyone else but Mariota. His 40 yard dash time is pretty solid. That is very good mobility for a quarterback who isn’t expected to be a flat out burner like Mariota clearly is. Aaron Rodgers has a very comparable 40 time of 4.71 seconds. Physically it appears that Trubisky is more gifted than the average quarterback but not physically outstanding like Mariota or a player like Cam Newton. This skill set will serve him well. When looking at his tape he will likely need to be creative to give himself more options than relying on his arm in order to be successful.
One of the biggest problems scouts have with Trubisky is his lack of college production. I think people are overhyping this by quite a bit. Let’s take a look at his stats compared to the quarterbacks we also looked at above.
In terms of raw passing attempts, he is right there with Wentz who everyone was calling experienced because he played in college for 4 years compared to 1 year of production for Trubisky. At this point would I like to see a larger body of work? Yes. Do I think it’s a major flaw? No. I would say that just by looking at his film, I would rather have him stay in college to get more game time and improve on his flaws more so than I need more evidence of his skills to be able to make a good determination on him.
I watched his film from the Miami, Florida State, and Stanford games. I saw a lot of good things and a lot of bad things. I am going to be pretty honest, I was pretty skeptical of Trubisky when I first started to look into him but I am starting to see why NFL scouts like him so much.
To start he reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers. In all three games he seemed to be the most comfortable outside of the pocket or on the move. He had several throws in the Stanford game that were beautiful when he was flushed out of the pocket. They were rockets 20-30 yards down the field that he fit into incredibly small throwing windows.
Not only is he good outside of the pocket, but he has the arm strength to make the big time throws from inside the pocket. When it comes to NFL quarterbacks, they need to be able to make all of the throws in the game, they need to have the zip to nail those out routes, and the cannon to drive the ball downfield on vertical routes. His accuracy on deep throws is a bit hit or miss. Some of his throws were placed on a dime, others were very poor. With some time to develop and hone his deep ball accuracy, I think he will be fine in this area.
This takes me to my biggest knock on him. His accuracy is just not good enough when he is throwing from the pocket. When he was forced to make plays from the pocket downfield, he was underthrowing players, and just in general his accuracy isn’t good enough. There are throws you have to make 100% of the time, and he isn’t capable of doing that right now. With practice he should be able to, but right now he just isn’t good enough there isn’t a lot to say on the matter outside of that.
He also has some bad habits. I caught several occasions where he was staring down receivers and throwing from his back foot. These kinds of bad habits are going to have to be broken by the time he starts an NFL game, both of those problems will result in turnovers. In college he was able to get away with them, but that won’t be the case against the big boys.
He has enough athleticism to escape the pocket and make plays on the run. He is never going to be an explosive runner like RG3, Cam Newton or Marcus Mariota but to be fair that’s not his game. He uses the speed that he has to great use, and it is one of his best assets.
Throw Power: A
He has a cannon. In one game he threw the ball 55 yards from his back foot. He has great ball speed when he wants to. He has the arm strength to make throws across the field.
Throw Accuracy: C+
On the move it’s great, from the pocket it’s pretty suspect. His deep ball accuracy leaves more to be desired. Definitely not a lost cause in this area, but it’s something that needs to be fixed before he can be a quality NFL starter.
I think right now he isn’t a player that could immediately transition to play in the NFL. But another year of development and improving his arm accuracy will leave him very good. I think he will likely be a solid starter in the NFL for 7+ years. I have been talking about Trubisky with a good friend of mine and I am pretty sure his value is that of a second round pick but because of the poor quarterback class I would be okay with him going to the Redskins at #17, Broncos at #20, or #25 to Houston.
NFL Comparison: He plays like Aaron Rodgers but think of the talent level of an Eli Manning though he won’t reach that level without a year or two of development.