Despite being ranked as the top dual-threat quarterback in the country by one recruiting service, Trubisky had to bide his time before getting on the field for the Tar Heels. Marquise Williams took the helm for four years in Chapel Hill, relegating the Mr. Ohio Football to a reserve role (82 of 125 for 1,014 yards, 11 touchdowns, five interceptions in 2014-2015). Trubisky had a breakout 2016 season, but only received third-team All-ACC honors because of the presence of the top two Heisman Trophy vote-getters (Louisville's Lamar Jackson and Clemson's Deshaun Watson). He ranked fifth in the country with a 68.0 completion percentage, threw 30 touchdowns against just six picks, and averaged 288 passing yards per contest. The dual-threat part of his game also came out in 2016, as he ran for 308 yards (net of lost sack yardage) and five scores.
Adequate height with good muscular definition. Built to withstand physical challenges of the position. Calm field general. Very good pocket mobility. Can slide around circumference of the pocket without having to drop his eyes from their task. When he leaves the pocket, looks to challenge with his arm before defaulting to his feet. Always in ready-to-rip throwing posture. Delivery is crisp and efficient. Locates safeties and reads their intentions immediately after the snap. Quick through his progressions and will double back to targets if his protection allows him time. Pocket mechanics and throwing motion are solid. Tough and competitive. Shows courage and poise in the pocket. Throws passes from balanced platforms and rarely defaults to an off-balance throw unnecessarily. Has all the arm you need. NFL call sheets will be wide open with Trubisky at the helm. Can dial up deep field-side outs with accuracy. Ball comes humming out of his hand when he needs to spike his velocity. Arm talent to whip a catchable throw from difficult angles to targets outside the numbers. Makes the standard "pitch and catch" throws with consistent accuracy. Ball usually comes out on time. His 62.1 completion percentage on intermediate throws easily outpaces the top quarterbacks in this draft. Possesses get-away quickness to avoid sudden pressure from a-gap blitzers with the speed to damage the defensive cause once he leaves the pocket.
Almost 98 percent of his dropbacks came from shotgun. Will have to learn NFL footwork from under center which could take time. Benefits from offense loaded with RPOs (run-pass option) that pull linebackers forward and open easier throwing windows. Played in space-based passing attack that didn't often ask him to throw to tight windows in traffic. Arm slot will drop way down causing batted balls at line of scrimmage. Too willing to float balls rather than air-mailing them out of bounds when he's making a bail-out throw against pressure. Needs better drive accuracy between the hashes. Has a tendency to leave throws in hip pocket of moving targets. Inconsistent deep ball touch. Has touchdown opportunities he babies and invites defenders time to recover. Not always pocket aware. Hyper-focuses on shifting parts down the field and can be late to feel pressure collapsing the edges.
Sources Tell Us
"There are times he looks like another Carson Wentz and then there are times he looks like Blaine Gabbert. He has starting qualities and he'll go early, but he better get better at seeing blitzes and throwing hot or he'll get eaten alive by the exotic packages they are throwing at quarterbacks these days." -- Area scout for AFC team
Trubisky is a high-end quarterback prospect who possesses NFL size, a big arm and the ability to throw with accuracy from the pocket or on the move. 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. Trubisky will have to become much more pocket aware and do a better job of recognizing and attacking blitzes to back NFL defensive coordinators off. 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.