In this series we’ll break down popularly linked names to the Jets at pick six. Next is North Carolina QB Mitch(ell) Trubisky – the top quarterback by some analysts and a name the Jets are reportedly intrigued by.
Name: Mitch Trubisky
School: North Carolina
2016 Production: 13 starts, 304/447 (68%), 3748 yards (8.4 Y/A), 30 TD, 6 INT
Measurables courtesy of mockdraftable.com:
|40 Yard Dash||4.67s||82|
|20 Yard Shuttle||4.25s||67|
Strengths: Trubisky has adequate size, a solid arm, and is a good athlete for the position. Of the four quarterbacks mooted as first rounders, Trubisky’s production stands out as the most efficient in terms of completion percentage and protecting the football. When he knows where he wants to go with the football pre-snap, he’s near flawless inside 20 yards, showing good anticipation, accuracy and velocity on his throws. NFL scouts will love the consistency of which he can throw the deep out. He shows the ability to scan the entire field and manipulate the defense with his eyes, rarely telegraphing his throws prior to delivery. As an athlete he’s closer to Deshaun Watson than commonly realized, and shows the ability to extend plays with his legs and keep eyes down field. He understands game situation within the context of a play, rarely taking chances in the red zone and understanding the importance of yardage if not a home run on 2nd and 10+s or 3rd and longs in fringe field goal range. Those needing an example of the CLUTCH GENE can look at the Pittsburgh game, where a final drive that featured three 4th and long conversions from Trubisky ended with a game winning touchdown pass in the final moments.
Weaknesses: 13 starts. He plays maturely for a player with this little experience, but there are elements of his game that could have been honed by returning for a season. There are a ton of things Trubisky shows he can do but he’s not consistent in them: sensing pressure, knowing when to use his athleticism to extend play/run or just throw it away, resetting properly for his secondary reads and throwing as accurately as he normally does off the first. Sometimes he’s able to stop himself when a pre-determined play has been sniffed out, other times he tries to force the issue. Additionally it is hard to measure growth ability with just one season (Watson for example has been knocked for lack of growth being less efficient in certain areas as a passer in 2016 than 2015). He can struggle to account for late defensive adjustments and blitz recognition / adjustment can get him into trouble. His deep ball accuracy is all over the place and tends to be thrown on an over-lofted arc – it’s the number one place you feel he most leaves plays on the field.
Fit at Six – 7/10
The Jets are doing their homework on quarterbacks, and the long-standing narrative that the Jets like Trubisky in particular has only gained strength with the report he’s in for a private workout this week.
I have said my piece on the quarterback situation at long length here. The Jets have given Christian Hackenberg the path of least resistance to the starting position in 2017, but that could just as well apply to any rookie taken in the first round of this draft. In terms of planning for the future this year has opened up nicely as a “just give him a chance” and re-evaluate after 2017 type season for Hackenberg. With that said it’s also not prudent to use a late 2nd round pick who didn’t play as a rookie as a reason to pass on a top quarterback if the Jets see the future of the franchise in him. That’s what it comes down to here – taking “a” quarterback is not a priority, taking “the” quarterback if the Jets see a prospect as that is a different story. But is that Trubisky?
The Jets interest in Trubisky makes sense, because comparing him as a prospect to Hackenberg a year ago, there’s a good chance Trubisky would enter camp as a rookie as the deserved starter. The one year starter label is going to carry weight however and it should. While he’s more polished than what you’d expect and his one season was very good, only Cam Newton the consensus #1 pick athletic marvel has bucked the one year starter trend to become a franchise player.
Still, don’t rule this out. There’s no playoff mandate for Maccagnan but he needs to sell that there’s a young team making progress in 2017. He can gamble that Hackenberg will take a herculean leap from year one to year two, or he can invest in a rookie like Trubisky where there’s a higher floor than generally accepted.
Photo Credit: UNC.com