2017 Draft Reaction: Mitchell Trubisky Goes to the Chicago Bears

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RotoViz has teamed up with TwoQBs to provide post-draft analysis of the 2017 quarterback class. Two QBs is devoted to 2QB and Superflex fantasy leagues and provides player evaluations and advice, rankings, and strategy. Giana Pacinelli’s work can be found here.

With the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears selected Mitchell Trubisky. The surprise of the draft came early in the night as the Bears moved up just one spot to take the University of North Carolina quarterback.

It wasn’t where he was taken that was so surprising, but rather what the Bears gave up in order to get him, and who they already have on their roster, that made the move so shocking.

The Bears swapped picks with the 49ers, despite having signed Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45-million contract just last month, in addition to a one-year deal with Mark Sanchez. They also gave up their third round (67 overall), fourth round (111 overall) and a 2018 third round pick for the opportunity to snag Trubisky, who joins Lawrence Taylor and Julius Peppers as the highest drafted Tar Heels in NFL history.

From a fantasy perspective, Trubisky’s arrival hurts the veteran options. His presence, and what the Bears gave up for him, signify that Glennon is not their long-term, or potential short-term, starter. The competition and uncertainty on who will get the starting role will affect both players’ ADP.

We’ll get to more of that in a minute. But first, we take a comprehensive look at your new Chicago Bears QB, Mitchell Trubisky.

Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina, 6-3, 209

Name Last.AYA Cone Vel Weight Height Shuttle Hand Age Film
Mitch Trubisky 9.1 6.87 55 222 6021 4.25 9.5 22 82

With so much hype around Trubisky as the top quarterback in the draft, it’s no surprise he was picked as early as he was. While we can’t forget that he only started one season for the Tar Heels, we can acknowledge the reasons the Bears chose to trade up for him – a 68.9 percent completion percentage, 9.2 adjusted yards per attempt, 270 rushing yards, and 288 passing yards per game. In that solo season as a starter, Trubisky set UNC single-season records for passing yards (4,056) and touchdown passes (30).

Year Class G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
2014 SO 9 42 78 53.8 459 5.9 4.9 5 4 114.2
2015 SO 9 40 47 85.1 555 11.8 14.4 6 0 226.4
2016 JR 13 304 447 68 3748 8.4 9.1 30 6 157.9
Career 386 572 67.5 4762 8.3 9 41 10 157.6

In fact, when compared to QBs in years past, only three quarterbacks were able to match Trubisky’s numbers: Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota, and Paxton Lynch.

On paper, Trubisky is extremely efficient, throwing for 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 2016, and completing almost 70 percent of his passes. But with only one full season as a starter under his belt, and a competent starting quarterback already available, what kind of value can he provide the Bears?

Ultimately, if you believe a guy has the potential to be your franchise QB, you go after him. And that’s exactly what the Bears did. While Trubisky’s 2017 outlook may seem hazy, Glennon’s contract with the Bears is essentially a one-year “prove-it” deal. At whichever point he doesn’t deliver, the Bears plan to have their franchise QB waiting on the sidelines.

Trubisky ranked 10th overall, and second amongst QBs, in our final RotoViz Scouting Index. He also came in second amongst RotoViz analysts in our pre-draft rookie rankings, right behind Patrick Mahomes, the second quarterback taken in the draft.

In RotoViz’s Model, which includes QBs who have been in the league for less than four years, you’ll see Trubisky ranked third, with a 73.8% success rating.

QB Probability of Success
Carson Wentz 92.50%
Paxton Lynch 82.70%
Mitch Trubisky 73.80%
Teddy Bridgewater 68.10%
DeShone Kizer 43.90%
E.J. Manuel 43.50%
Jared Goff 38.60%
Pat Mahomes 27.40%
Brett Hundley 27.30%
Jimmy Garoppolo 25.30%

The model values Trubisky’s 9.1 adjusted yards per attempt and his high film grade of 82. Comparatively, Carson Wentz is first on this list, despite having just 23 career starts under his belt at North Dakota State University prior to the 2016 NFL Draft. Also, note that the model assumed a draft position of 15.5. When the model is updated to account for his better-than-expected draft position, his success probability score will also improve.1

Player Outlook

Young NFL quarterbacks are at their best with a supporting cast. Ultimately, whenever Trubisky wins the starting job, a lack of weapons on the offense will stunt his growth. If the plan is to allow the young QB to sit and learn behind a veteran QB in Glennon, it could be beneficial to his maturation as a passer. While he may have started for just one season at UNC, Trubisky showed he is an accurate passer with an efficient arm matched with a strong running game. He throws with anticipation and showed good footwork and mobility at the combine. North Carolina did play a lot of shotgun formation on offense, so Trubisky may need time to adjust and learn how to work from the line of scrimmage.

Team Outlook

The Bears will have committed a lot of picks and money (approximately $47 million between Glennon and Trubisky) to the quarterback position. While their offense has a good offensive line and running back, there’s not a lot of talent in the vertical passing game. Even with the money committed to Glennon, Trubisky can win this job in training camp and bring more attention to the fantasy community. The Bears poor defense should give the offense plenty of opportunities for garbage time points.

Fantasy owners will need to pay close attention in the off-season to determine Trubisky’s potential for the 2017 season. At this stage, it’s not clear that Trubisky will have a role as a rookie or what his real value is to fantasy owners. If you need an asset to pay immediate dividends, Trubisky is not your guy. On the other hand, if Jay Cutler can average 17 fantasy points per game in 2015 at 32 years of age, with 11 interceptions and five fumbles, I have faith Trubisky can be a reliable QB2 with the opportunity to become a valuable fantasy quarterback in the next two to three years. The outlook for this year, unfortunately, is hazy.

Conclusion

Trubisky represents an opportunity for the Bears to solve a long-running problem that has haunted the franchise. The Bears organization, their players, and fans should be excited for Trubisky, but fantasy players have a right to be underwhelmed. It certainly is possible Trubisky can win the starting job in training camp, in what should make for an interesting offseason storyline, but uncertainty is always a fantasy player’s worst nightmare. Trubisky’s path to the starting role may have been easier in a place like San Francisco, but if Trubisky is who the Bears think he is, there is potential to build a competent offense.

Glennon and Trubisky’s battle for the starting job will be one to watch in the coming months, and Trubisky will undoubtedly get his chance to prove his worth. The question is only when.

Additional Resources

Quarterbacks – The QB Prospect Model – RotoDoc uses a statistical feature selection process to build a QB projection model. It provides a likelihood of success, and in testing, mis-classified QBs just seven percent of the time. RotoDoc provides success odds for the incoming rookies, as well as 2016 draftees, and the complete data set for all QBs going back to 2007.

TwoQBs – is devoted to 2QB and Superflex fantasy leagues, and provides player evaluations and advice, rankings, and strategy. Giana Pacinelli’s work can be found here.

Find all our 2017 NFL draft reaction content here.

See for yourself

 

  1. As it will for Patrick Mahomes, who was also drafted much earlier than expected.  (back)