Mitchell Trubisky Can’t Be The Top Pick in the Draft – Georgia Fans Know This
Conventional wisdom and (likely) prevailing logic implies that Myles Garrett will be the first man off the board during Thursday night’s NFL Draft. But last time I checked the Cleveland Browns have the top (and 12th pick). Cleveland’s perennial Draft mismanagement combined with a need for help at basically every position (except maybe offensive line) is a recipe for disaster. And at this late hour there are some rumors that North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky could take the top spot.
You just can’t do that. Trubisky’s relative inexperience will be mentioned ad nauseum this evening but that point is worth belaboring. This is not the traditional blue chipper path to the NFL.
- Trubisky was the nation’s 6th-best dual-threat QB per 247Sports.
- He picked up many notable offers – the nation’s best program (Alabama), an allegedly resurgent SEC power (Tennessee), a Big 10 staple (Michigan State) and even his home-state Ohio State Buckeyes.
- He chose to attend North Carolina with a May 2012 commitment in a January 2013 enrollment.
- This made sense because North Carolina had dismissed its head coach Butch Davis the summer before his commitment (right before fall camp) and it had an interim head coach during the season preceding his commitment. Always a force, North Carolina was 3-5 in ACC play in 2011.
- The bullet-point above was mostly to rib Chad Floyd and to point out that it was odd for a truly elite prospect (if he was one) to choose North Carolina for anything other than home-state loyalty (which didn’t apply) or immediate playing time (which didn’t come).
- North Carolina played two quarterbacks in 2013. Both threw for more than 1600 yards. Neither had a Polish last name. Is Trubisky a Polish last name? I feel like it is. Either way, neither was named Trubisky. That guy redshirted. #Elite
- In 2014, Marquise Williams held onto the job. Williams was passable as a passer. His passer rating was 58th in the nation and only 61 full-time QBs posted better yards-per-attempts.
- Trubisky attempted 78 passes as a backup in 2014 and posted a QB rating of 114.2. His best game came against Virginia when, just 23 months after arriving on campus, he completed 100% of his passes and finished 1/1 for 16 yards and a TD.
- Always destined for greatness, Trubisky was a backup once again in 2015 as Marquise Williams improved by reducing his completion percentage and throwing for precisely as many yards as he did the year before. Trubisky attempted even fewer passes in 2015.
- But in 2016, he took off.
In his lone season as the go-to quarterback for the Tar Heels, Trubisky was pretty good. North Carolina turned a Top 15 ranking at the end of 2015 into a pre-season no. 20 (per the Coaches poll) and Heels were ranked in the Top 20 all the way up until the first game of the season. Trubisky opened his career at 0-1 thanks to a loss to first-year head coach Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs. He threw for 156 yards on just 40 attempts (nearly four yards per attempt) and didn’t throw any interceptions (or passing touchdowns). Recruited as a dual-threat, Trubisky was electric with his legs rushing three times for seven yards.
He rebounded and North Carolina climbed back into the Top 25, but they didn’t stay there and finished the year un-ranked.
As a starter (for his entire career – four whole years in Chapel Hill), Trubisky played seven FBS opponents with winning records against FBS opponents. This is, by my estimation, the broadest measure one can find of Trubisky’s starting experience against average-or-better opposition. Those seven games are detailed below.
Those numbers, on average, are fantastically pedestrian. For Georgia-fan context, these numbers are worse than what Greyson Lambert put up in 2015 in terms of efficiency. But, that should not surprise you. After all, Lambert and Jacob Eason threw for 29 more yards than Trubisky on 20 fewer attempts in 2016’s match-up. Seriously. Trubisky threw for 156 yards on 40 attempts. Lambert and Eason threw for 185 on 20 attempts.
Any GM drafting Trubisky is hoping for the type of performance he put up against Florida State and Pitt. But they’re equally likely to get the Trubisky we saw against the Dawgs or the one that threw for 58 yards on 33 attempts against Virginia Tech. There’s not enough film on this guy to merit a first (or Top 10) pick and what is on field is not consistently good.
Intangibles become huge this time of year, but it’s hard to put too much stock into Trubisky’s moxie, etc. He rode the bench while North Carolina went 13-13 over all and 8-8 in conference play in 2013 and 2014. The Tar Heels went 8-0 in conference play and 11-3 overall in 2015 while he attempted just 47 passes. The Tar Heels under-performed expectations (or at least rankings) and took a discernible step backwards offensively. In terms of scoring, this was the worst offense of the Larry Fedora era.
- 2015 – 40.7 Points Per Game
- 2012 – 40.6 Points Per Game
- 2014 – 33.2 Points Per Game
- 2013 – 32.7 Points Per Game
- 2016 – 32.3 Points Per Game
Who wants him?
That’s all I got/