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A one-year starter at North Carolina, Trubisky was highly efficient in the Tar Heels' up-tempo, zone-read scheme, taking snaps primarily from the pistol and shotgun formations. The former Mr. Football in the state of Ohio as a high school senior, he grew up a Buckeyes fan, but once Ohio State signed a Texas quarterback recruit by the name of J.T. Barrett, Trubisky shifted his focus, committing to North Carolina over Alabama, Tennessee and others. After redshirting in 2013, he spent two seasons as the back-up to veteran quarterback Marquise Williams, recording 14 total touchdowns over that span. With Williams graduating, Trubisky took over the starting duties as a junior in 2016 and impressed with 68.2% completions, which ranked third-best among passers in power-five conferences. He set single-season school records for passing yards (3,748), completions (304), total offense (4,056) and touchdown passes (30) while throwing only six interceptions to earn Third Team All-ACC honors.
Trubisky has outstanding mobility for his size and doesn't receive enough credit for his ability to move the pocket and buy extra half-seconds. While he doesn't have elite arm strength, Trubisky can easily make all the necessary throws and does so with proper placement and timing, not forcing passes. He doesn't have many glaring weaknesses on film, but his inexperience reading defenses post-snap will show up at times. Although the sample size isn't ideal for a quarterback prospect in consideration for a top-10 draft pick, Trubisky has the physical characteristics and mental alertness to develop into a quality starting quarterback in the NFL.
STRENGTHS: Tall, solidly built passer. Outstanding athlete with the mobility and body strength to escape pressure and extend plays. Efficient pocket movements to climb and delicately operate amidst backfield pressure with his eyes downfield. Quick to reset his feet, set and fire. Slightly above average arm strength and controls his ball speeds well. Shows consistent accuracy on short-to-intermediate passes and doesn't force his receivers to work for it. Very confident passer who will use the entire field - steady play in late-game situations. Great job fitting the ball between levels of coverage and consistently hits the “Turkey hole” throw. Reliable decision-maker and limits low-percentage attempts (only six interceptions on 446 pass attempts in 2016). Displays the ability to make anticipation throws on in- and out-breaking routes, delivering prior to the receiver starting his break. Appears frantic at times in the pocket, but quickly regains his poise and stays under control, understanding protections and where his outlet is located. Toughness to stand tall in the pocket and adjust his arm angle when needed. Impressive production as a junior, accounting for 35 touchdowns (30 passing, five rushing) and setting numerous school passing records. Calm playing temperament, but also the resilient competitive drive to lead an offense.
WEAKNESSES: Throwing mechanics require tweaking. Doesn't consistently drive through his hips in his delivery and needs to better shift his weight. Tends to lock onto reads and stare down targets. Needs to improve his pre- and post-snap reads and understanding of coverages, not consistently deciphering alignments and the responsibilities of defensive backs. Still finding his downfield touch and his deep balls are a work-in-progress. Internal clock needs refinement. Accuracy tends to drop when throwing on the move. Needs to improve his field awareness and better protect the ball when scrambling (four fumbles in 2016). Only one season of starting experience and after spending three years on the sidelines - showed patience to sit and wait his turn, but his inability to unseat Williams as the starter is a question mark.
PRO COMPARISON: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals - While tough to find an apples-to-apples comparison for a quarterback with only one season of film, Trubisky shows similar traits that make Dalton a reliable starter in the NFL. Both have enough size and arm strength for the pro game and are able to be productive from within the pocket when throwing to talented wideouts. Trubisky is a better athlete than Dalton and has more upside, but for now, Dalton is a realistic comparison.