Speculation about where North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky would be taken in the NFL Draft has been all over the board. Many ESPN analysts believed as late as Thursday morning that Trubisky could be the draft’s first overall pick. Now we know that he is headed to the Chicago Bears with the second overall pick.
The Bears originally had the third overall pick before trading up with the 49ers for the second pick. Chicago had to give up quite a bit in order to grab Trubisky second overall, clearly signifying their faith in him as their quarterback. It’s also great for Carolina’s football program to have a player selected so high.
As a starter in 2016, Trubisky was fifth in the country in completion percentage at 68.0. He threw 30 touchdown passes to just six interceptions all season, and he hadn’t thrown a single pick until the infamous Hurricane Game against Virginia Tech in October. Mitch proved to have some of the same dual-threat capabilities of his predecessor, running for five touchdowns and 308 yards.
Although his starting career was limited to just 13 starts, those who matter were clearly impressed with what Trubisky was able to do. Aside from a few forgettable blips on the radar, like the Hurricane Game, Trubisky was a driving force for the Tar Heels even without his best deep threat in Mack Hollins after he went down with injury in the Miami game.
Trubisky has a very strong arm that should be able to hold up well at the next level. He’s an accurate passer who has the ability to move his feet when necessary. Trubisky has good mobility in the pocket, and also can take off and run when the situation calls for it. He makes good reads down the field and is physical enough to hang in there against the defense.
Experience concerns aside, the greatest change for Trubisky at the next level will be learning to take snaps under center. He worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun at Carolina, and his snap under center in UNC’s bowl game with a chance to tie it late went about how you’d expect it to after him not getting much play under center all season.
Best of luck to Mitch in the NFL. His success story can only help further Carolina’s football program as it strives to be recognized more on a national stage. Getting a guy like Trubisky drafted in the first round after just one season as a starter can only help.