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Bleacher Report – Vikings

As Mitch Trubisky preps for first career start, a look back at what draft analysts said

By Matthew Coller

The Chicago Bears picked quite the defense for rookie Mitch Trubisky to face in his first NFL start.

On Monday night, the Bears will debut their No. 2 overall draft pick against the Minnesota Vikings’ defense, which is coming off a six-sack performance against the Detroit Lions. Last year the Bears had success on the ground, but it appears the Vikings have solved any run defense issues, ranking fourth in the NFL in yards per attempt allowed.

So it would appear the Vikings have a huge advantage, but what does Trubisky bring to the table? What are his strengths and weaknesses?

Here is a look back at what five draft analysts/draft websites said when the former North Carolina QB was the top prospect in the draft:

Pocket presence

The most consistently praised element of Trubisky’s game was his mobility and pocket presence. Sports Illustrated wrote:

“What stands out about Trubisky, above all else, is his feel for the pocket. He manipulates the pocket with controlled footwork, sliding left or right to find a throwing lane. Defenses have to account for his scrambling ability, but he is patient looking for a pass against pressure. He was sacked 20 times during the 2016 season—a number that would have been much higher had Trubisky not dodged so much trouble.”

Mechanics

There were debates among draft analysts whether the one-year starter at North Carolina had good mechanics.

Pro Football Focus said, “Despite being a one-year starter, Trubisky is very polished as a passer playing with good balance and consistent mechanics, which leads him to throw with great accuracy in the short/intermediate passing game.”

But draft researcher Ethan Young wasn’t as high on Trubisky’s throwing technique.

“The upper body mechanics scare me…At times he throws jump balls – I don’t mean like 50-50 down the field, but he actually jumps in the air to put power behind his throws. There are other times where he throws a 15-yard out route where it’s quick and efficient, it’s just not a consistent delivery.”

Sports Illustrated agreed with Young:

“There are a handful of instances per game where Trubisky missed high because he stayed planted on his back foot, rather than stepping into the pass.”

Reading defenses

Most said that he had the arm and accuracy to play quarterback at the NFL level and pointed to his strong ability to read defenses.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote:”Despite playing in a spread-based offense, he’s a full-field reader who does a very good job of getting an early read on the safeties before crafting his course of action.

Pro Football Focus added:

“Although he comes from a version of the spread in his college offense, he was asked to do many full field progressions and showed he can click from receiver to receiver quickly and efficiently.”

SI, however, did point out that his final college game had some red flags.

“There will be decision-making issues that can only be fixed by playing. In North Carolina’s bowl game, Stanford picked Trubisky off twice, both on bad reads.”

Development

Nearly every analyst agreed that Trubisky needed lots of development. ESPN’s Mel Kiper said, “If you handle Trubisky well, you may have something. If you expect him to be Dak Prescott and go out there and play well as a rookie, forget about it. It isn’t happening.”

SI said: “He’s going to need time to develop into an NFL starter, mentally more so than physically.”

Ceiling

There were debates about whether he could be a star. Zierlein wrote:

“He hasn’t put all the pieces together yet, but the puzzle is all right in front. Trubisky projects as a good starting quarterback with a high floor and the potential to be great.”

PFF called him a safe pick.

“Shows all of the tools to develop into a very solid NFL starting quarterback and appears to be the safest option of the 2017 quarterback draft class.”

The post As Mitch Trubisky preps for first career start, a look back at what draft analysts said appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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