Mitchell Tribusky: Why the 49ers Should Look but Don’t Touch Until Later in the Draft

Niners Live is back in with our bag of talented analyst tricks to cap off our series of assessments on this year’s quarterback prospects. We previously discussed: Deshone KizerPatrick Mahomes, and Deshaun Watson. And now? We turn our attention to Mitchell Tribusky, with an in-depth breakdown and recap on: Why the 49ers should look but don’t touch until later in the draft, if he’s there, of course.

 

Career Recap:

The former Mr. Football from Ohio, standing at 6’2 and 222 lbs., after redshirting his first year at North Carolina in 2013, played in a total of seventeen games as a backup to starter Marquise Williams in 2014 and 15 respectively. In 2016, Tribusky was finally able to secure the starting role and impressed with 68.2 completion percentage, which ranked third best among passers in power-five conferences. He set single-season school records for passing with 3,748 yards, 304 completions, 4,056 yards of total offense, 30 touchdowns while throwing only six interceptions and earned Third Team All-ACC honors (NFL.com).

QB Mitch Trubisky: “I got a note today from somebody that he measured over 6-foot-2, and so he made himself some money today I promise you. You can see, just like the other guys I talked about, why people like him. He grows on you. The more you watch him, the more you like him.” (49ers.com).

What did Seth Littrell a former assistant head coach for offense and play-caller at North Carolina had to say about Trubisky? Direct your attention down below.

“I’ve been around a lot of good ones,” Littrell said, “and there’s no doubt in my mind Mitch is as good or better than all of them. He has NFL talent. But what you don’t see is what’s inside. He’s extremely competitive. He’s a student of the game. He knows where to go with the football based on what defenses are doing. They may get him once but he’s smart enough to understand what his weakness was on that play or what the defense was trying to accomplish, then adjust.

“There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to be highly successful. People thought I was crazy two years ago when I was telling everyone to keep your eyes on this kid next year. He’s special.”

Niners Live side note: Littrell spent two seasons in meetings, on the practice field and on the sideline with Trubisky (via Sportsday.dallasnews.com).

40-yard dash time: 4.61Projected round 1st, NFL comparison: Matthew Stafford (via NFL.com).

What are his strengths?

  • Outstanding athlete with the mobility and body strength to escape pressure and extend plays
  • Shows consistent accuracy on short to intermediate passes
  • Reliable decision maker, and limits low percentage attempts (only six interceptions on 446 pass attempts in 2016)
  • Delivery is sharp and efficient, reads the field well and is able to sniff out defenders’ intentions instantly

Important stats to know: Tribusky had an adjusted completed percentage of 66.7 when pressured in the pocket, which was tied for 1st among the top QB prospects in the draft (Pro Football Focus).

Reasons for concern?

Indeed, he does not have many glaring weaknesses on film. However, the sample size and game tape just aren’t enough for a top quarterback prospect who may be picked as early as the top ten. Don’t take our word for it. Just listen to what an AFC scout had to say: “I just worry about the one-year wonder deal and the fact that he couldn’t beat out Marquise Williams (who went undrafted) for two years. I don’t care what anyone says. If he was that good, he should’ve been able to win the starting job. There’s something wrong with that!” The Book on Mitch Trubisky: Scouting polarizing UNC QB by Bucky Brooks NFL Media analyst.

While Tribusky has a high floor, if he fails to improve on his blitz recognition, overall pocket awareness and ball security (four fumbles in 2016), as well as his deep ball touch, he will have a hard time making that jump to the next level to become a solid starting signal caller at the professional level.

I leave you with this:

The consensus among many of the NFL draft experts remains questionable at best on where the top quarterback’s prospects will be selected and how they will fare on the NFL level. Forty-Niners general manager John lynch, however, told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche he believes they are “getting a bad rap.” Per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, “Trubisky is a fine quarterback. He’s strong-armed, a good athlete, and is the best of the bunch among the 2017 class of signal callers. No wonder draft expert Daniel Jeremiah had him penciled in as the 49ers selection in the first round of his mock draft 1.0.

Important to note: Forty-Niners GM John Lynch attended Mitchell Trubisky’s workout recently (via NFL.com). The recap: Mike Mayock reviewed Mitchell Trubisky’s Pro Day: He called it just “solid” and said he was a spread quarterback trying to show scouts he can perform in a pro-style offense (via the team’s website).

Will the 49ers be inclined to take a gamble on Tribusky at the number two pick? Highly unlikely at this point. Especially when you consider the addition of veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. At the very least, the new regime should have a viable stop gap option to get them through this 2017 season and should not need to over-reach for a still unproven prospect with little experience as a starter. Could they take a flyer on him later, maybe as early as the late first round? Of course, the 49ers would have to move back up in the first round to do so, but that’s a realistic option (if) he was to drop down the draft that far within reach. In any case, the 49ers should simply look, but don’t touch till later. Maybe round two? Well if, and that’s a (big if), he is still available when the 49ers make their second pick 34th overall, Tribusky may indeed hear his number called.

With that being said, when the 49ers step up to the podium on the second day of the draft, things certainly could get intense. Niners Live will be right there to report all the breaking news with our #eyeswideopen.

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Could the 49ers trade back to select their signal caller? Endless possibilities… Haha, stay tuned.. Are your eyes wide open?

As always, keep your eyes wide open, 49er fans. Niners Live will be watching with you. #eyeswideopen and often imitated but never duplicated… Go Niners.

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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Irvin Johnson Staff Writer at Niners Live. Co-Author, Editor Niners Live.