Crush or Flush: Mitch Trubisky
Crush or Flush is a measure of how much I like a player compared to conventional wisdom and/or his current ADP. Either I’m crushing on him, or I’m flushing him. Keep in mind, if I I’m crushing on a late round QB, it doesn’t mean I like him more than Tom Brady; it means I would bump him up the draft board and target him
What if I told you Trubisky is Jared Goff?
The Bears shocked the world in 2017, trading up to grab Mitch Trubisky, weeks after giving Mike Glennon entirely too many millions of dollars. Obviously, they liked what they saw on tape, in person, and at the combine in Trubisky.
As a rookie, Trubisky went 4-8, was 196 out of 330 attempts (59 percent completion rate), 2,193 yards. He threw 7 TDs, matching his 7 INTs. By almost any measure, a mediocre performance.
That performance prompted recent headlines such as this one: “Bears looking for leadership from Trubisky; Let’s see talent first”
And to quote a different column from this week:
“(New Bears Head Coach Matt) Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace believe in Trubisky because they have to — their jobs depend on it, especially Pace’s. Fans who have forgotten how to recognize a competent NFL quarterback desperately want to invest hope because their Sundays revolve around it. But more than anything, two measly offensive series in the second exhibition game reminded residents in this Bears town to know what we don’t know, which is Trubisky has yet to prove anything other than he looks the part in practice and throws a pretty spiral.”
I get the hot take. Sports writers and sports radio need material every day and big cities like Chicago mirror the “sports urgency” of New York, where win now is the marching order, ahead of true player development.
But what if I told you that Mitch Trubisky is Jared Goff. He’s also Carson Wentz. And Andrew Luck. And Jameis Winston. He’s even Blake Bortles, though you don’t like Bortles as much as you should.
According to football data analyst Warren Sharp, the average completion rate of Top 15 drafted QBs from 2012-2016 was…. wait for it…. 59 percent. Goff was 55 percent in his rookie year and climbed to 62 percent last year. And every one of those QBs took sizable steps forward in completion rates and TD:INT ratios in their sophomore season.
Goff played under Jeff Fisher in year 1 and got Sean McVey last year. Trubisky upgrades from John Fox to Matt Nagy this season. One example, courtesy of Sharp: Trubisky played 98 percent of his college snaps out of the shotgun, but the Bears made him work under center exactly half the time as a rookie. When he was in the shotgun, running back Jordan Howard averaged 6.4 yards per carry (4.0 when QB was under center). The Chiefs, under Nagy’s offensive coordinator oversight, ran shotgun on 72 percent of plays.
Based on those numbers alone, you know the Bears offense will be much more interesting. And let’s remember, Trubisky was targeting receivers Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, Dontrelle Inman, Benny Cunningham and Kevin White last year.
This season includes returning backs Howard and Tarik Cohen, and Trubisky has at his disposal: Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel, rookie Anthony Miller, and Bellamy. Second year TE Adam Shaheen returns as well for Trubisky. The Bears QB was one of the most successful in the NFL throwing up the middle (see Burton, Shaheen and slot receiver Miller) and he struggled throwing to the outside.
Let’s assume Nagy plays out of the shotgun at only 75 percent. Trubisky will have options that include a RB (Howard) who is more successful out of that formation, pass-catching RB Cohen, two tight ends and an upgraded WR group. He’ll be more comfortable, he’ll be more successful.
And the Bears have good pass defense matchups in the first half of the season. New personnel groups (including coaches) tend to take a few weeks to gel in the NFL, but if Nagy can create good chemistry on the offense in training camp, Mitch Trubisky can have a very successful 2018 season.
(The Bears defense is also a solid unit, which always helps an offense.)
According to FantasyPros.com, Mitch Trubisky has the 4th easiest QB strength of schedule this season. He is ranked #140 overall in consensus expert ranks and has an ADP of #156 and is the 23rd QB off the board as of this writing.
I’m a 2-QB league guy, so I’m always looking for signal callers that will crack the top 12 at the position. I think Trubisky is one. In a standard (boring) 1-QB league, he’s worth a draft pick (well before 156) as a back-up, trade chip, or keeper for 2019. I think he busts out this year.
Mitch Trubisky – I have a CRUSH on you.