Throughout the week, we're taking a deep dive into the the three college quarterbacks the Cleveland Browns will likely be tied to in 2017 NFL Draft. With the answer under center not currently on the roster, most people believe the Browns will end up drafting one of these three. Today, we take a look at North Carolina signal caller Mitch Trubisky.
Name: Mitchell David Trubisky
Nickname(s): "Mitch," "Mr. Biscuit"
Weight: 220 pounds
Hometown: Mentor, Ohio
Current Occupation: Quarterback for the North Carolina Tar Heels
Former Occupation: Quarterback for Mentor High School, where he was named Ohio's Mr. Football as a senior after throwing for 2,470 yards and 28 touchdowns
Passing: 281-408, 3,468 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
Completion Percentage: 68.9%
Adjusted Completion Percentage Under Pressure: 68.6 (no. 1 in the nation)
Rushing Yards: 270
Rushing Touchdowns: 5
Has He Said Anything About the Browns Yet?
Oh hell yeah. Read this:
"I don't see it as pressure," Trubisky said of a potential career in Cleveland. "I see it more as a great opportunity. There's a lot of variables. I think we're talking about a lot of what-ifs and who knows, that might not be the right situation for me. If it's meant to be it's meant to be."
But Does He Even Lift?
How does a 325 pound Hang-Clean sound? Huh? Do you like that? Could I interest you in that? Would that get you going?
What Does He Do Well?
Trubisky's greatest strength is his accuracy. He's completing almost 70 percent of his passes in 2016, his first year as North Carolina's starting quarterback, and that completion rate drops just .3 points when he's pressured in the pocket.
Has a strong arm both on vertical throws and medium throws into traffic. When he does throw an incompletion, the ball tends to land on grass rather in the opposition's hands, hence the low interception numbers.
His footwork in the pocket is (usually) good, and he never stops moving his feet as he progresses through his reads. Trubisky is agile for being 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, and throws well when on the move outside the pocket. Can run when he needs to, and North Carolina had enough confidence in his speed that they called a decent amount of run-pass options (RPOs). Still, he doesn't force it, and looks to stay in the pocket and throw, usually treating the run as a last resort.
What Stuff Does He Need to Work On?
Even in a clean pocket, Trubisky can be lazy with his mechanics. Sometimes he'll throw off his back foot, while other times he'll step to the side instead of forward with his left foot, leaving his shoulders open and causing the ball to sail (see above).
In the play below, even though Trubisky steps into the throw, he leaves his left shoulder open instead of closed toward the receiver, and the ball ends up a little bit behind for an incompletion.
The ability that makes him a threat outside of the pocket can make him a lazy passer in it. He'll need to continue to focus on his mechanics and make sure his footwork and release point are the same on every drop back.
NC called a lot of wide receiver screens and quick outs for Trubisky's safety valve Barry Switzer, so Trubisky's high completion rate is certainly boosted by some easy throws.
And If being bad at experience was a thing, Trubisky would qualify. He's got just 13 starts under his belt, and will play only one more game (the Sun Bowl on Dec. 30) before he probably declares for the 2017 NFL Draft. There are concerns that such a small sample size of play will make it difficult to fully evaluate him, or to know whether his performance this season at NC is an anomaly or a predictor of future behavior.