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Prospect of the Day: Mitchell Trubisky

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North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky
6-2, 222 lb.
Junior

Bio
Native of Mentor, Ohio - Mr. Football in the state of Ohio as a senior
Rated the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback by various scouting outlets
Still among the top ten passers in Ohio history with 9,126 yards and 92 touchdowns
Averaged nearly 400 passing yards per game in four playoff games as a senior at Mentor HS
Enrolled early at North Carolina in 2013, yet redshirted in the fall of 2013

Honors/Records
2016 Third Team All-ACC
2016 Davey O'Brien Award Semifinalist
2016 Maxwell Award Semifinalist
2016 Johnny Unitas Arm Award Finalist
Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week - September 24, 2016
Set single-season UNC record for passing yards (3,748 yd), TD (30) & total offense (4,056 yd)
Finished fifth at UNC in career passing TD (41) & passing yards (4,762)
Finished seventh at UNC in career total offense (5,201 yd)

Combine Measurements
Arms: 32"
Hand: 9 1/2"
40-yd dash: 4.67 seconds
Vertical Jump: 27.5"
Broad Jump: 9-8
3-cone drill: 6.87 seconds
Short Shuttle: 4.25 seconds

Overall
How many one year wonder quarterbacks have succeeded in the NFL and why was he the starter for only one year?

Those two questions will seemingly dog one year starter North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky until he breaks through as a rock solid starter in the NFL. In that one year, Trubisky had one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in North Carolina history, but the guy started ahead of him Marquise Williams wasn't drafted in 2016 and has already been with two NFC teams in a year.

Let's tackle the second question first. UNC Head coach Larry Fedora has repeatedly said that the competition was always close, whisker-close, if you will. But, in the end, Fedora put Williams in that starting position and it was hard to argue with that decision when Williams eventually led the Tar Heels to the ACC Coastal Division title in 2015. In 2014, Williams passed for 3,068 yards and accounted for 34 touchdowns, so Trubisky sat behind an accomplished college quarterback.

When Williams moved on, the expectations were high for Trubisky, a redshirt junior, who started a handful of games when Williams was injured or played in garbage time late in games. No one really expected Trubisky to become a potential face of the 2017 NFL Draft by late October but he was. As such, he had some brilliant performances in 2016, including leading the Tar Heels to a last second 37-35 win over Florida State in Tallahassee, the marquee win for the Heels last season.

The one year wonders? Well, there was an Akili Smith, i.e bust. There's a Cam Newton, i.e. superstar. There are probably more Smiths than Newtons but the lack of experience is definitely a factor, which I'll describe in detail below.

Quote
"Mitch Trubisky will be the face of somebody's organization and he will make them proud. He will never embarrass them. He's as solid a person as there is. He's the kind of person you would want to be the face of your organization and he's a program-changer. Somebody's going to be able to build around him and have that piece of the puzzle. And at that level, that piece of the puzzle is extremely important."
--UNC Head coach Larry Fedora to Cleveland.com

"He's got a quick release, a big arm, good feet. He moves around the pocket fairly well."
--NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock

What to like
- Quick release
- Classic motion and release
- Movement in the pocket, works up, back, and side to side well, WITHOUT fleeing
- Doesn't always think run first when he escapes the pocket
- Decision-making as it pertains to run/throw v. pressure is excellent
- Throws receivers open, especially in the red zone
- Tight ball, spins it well
- Outstanding runner, multiple called run plays for him each game
- Guys seem to respond to him, calm, cool and doesn't get rattled

What needs some work
- When he locks in on third down, it caused problems
- Doesn't see robber/thief safety in middle of the field
- Release is a bit funky, though, to me
- Throwing to his left, his footwork gets out of whack easily
- Opens his body, nearly parallel to the line of scrimmage, loses his power and zip
- Gets antsy on third down, only time when he looked skittish in pocket
- Misreads were COSTLY throughout the season - he didn't miss much, but when he erred, it was bad

Projection
Trubisky should hear his name in the first round, but he's got some work to do against some of the more complex coverages he's going to see in the future.

Case in point, against Stanford, he was in a rhythm and made some brilliant throws, some he created in the face of intense pressure from defensive tackle Solomon Thomas. In the first half of the Sun Bowl, on a third down, Trubisky short circuited a drive when he missed Stanford safety Dallas Lloyd playing a robber. It wasn't a difficult read and he blew it. He locked in on Ryan Switzer and Lloyd picked it off to end a scoring threat.

Later in the game, backed up in his own territory, now with a one point lead, Trubisky misread cover one and Lloyd picked off another pass for the game winning Stanford touchdown. Worse yet, Trubisky had a curl/wheel combination into that boundary and had the curl open by a few yards. I don't know why he didn't throw to the wide open curl.

Would he have made those throws with more experience? Hard to know for certain, but there's nothing he can do about it now. He's going to be learning calculus on the fly after just finishing his algebra I course.

What he can do is make more throws like the touchdown throw he made earlier in that same game to Switzer on a bang 8/skinny post. Trubisky released the ball well before Switzer even made his cut. The Tar Heel signal caller zipped the ball to a spot where only Switzer could catch it for the Tar Heels first touchdown of the day.

Trubisky has every skill that NFL teams want in a starting quarterback, but there are some rough spots that'll take some work. Will his next team have the time and patience to do so? That's key to his ultimate success at this level.

Check out photos of quarterback, wide receiver and tight end prospects from the 2017 NFL Combine.

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