QuarterBack ~ Mitchell Trubisky ~ North Carolina Tar Heels ~ 6021/222
But I believe not only that Pocket Passing remains the Heart & Soul of successful QuarterBacking, but that the capacity of Speed QuarterBacks to master Pocket Passing can be and often is crippled by the Siren Song of Scrambling: A QuarterBack who has always had that "out" is far less likely to develop the skills that really matter.
Power QuarterBacks ~ The Men with the Golden Arms ~ are equally susceptible to falling Prey to the seductive allure of their own physical Talent: The more powerful their Cannons, the more likely I believe it is that they persistently depend upon that crutch as a Get Out Of Jail Card, and thus fail to develop a more comprehensive Skill Set.
And thus I perceive a Great Irony, one that continues, astonishingly, to elude most: The more explosive a Scrambler that a QuarterBack is, or the more powerful an Arm he boasts, the less likely that he is to achieve Greatness.
Conversely, it's the boring guys who consistently Move The Chains that give you the best Chance to win.
After New Year's Day, when The Only Games That Really Matter are played, History has been relentlessly savage to Power QuarterBacks and Speed QuarterBacks who failed to develop their Games: Once the weaker Teams have been eliminated, the PlayOff Defenses have invariably proven far too much for the Unprepared.
And if you're not prepared to compete after New Year's Day, why play at all??
In consideration of these thoughts, which, like many of my thoughts, fly in the face of what is amusingly considered to be Conventional Wisdom, this is how I break down the Criteria that I focus on, when evaluating QuarterBacks:
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape. It's crucial at all 22 Positions, but utterly vital for a QuarterBack to succeed...or to even survive. Reading Coverages, working through Progressions, and selecting the best Receiving or Running Option.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Touch, and Trajectory: Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure is about Poise, or how one's Processing Speed and Precision stand up Under Pressure, and about one's Temporal & Spatial Instincts in navigating an often chaotic Pocket.
FirePower is a Category that I value, though not as much as others. I refer to Velocity and to DownField Precision, which I don't consider as crucial to Success as Short & Intermediate Precision. DownField Precision makes for tremendous HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I don't list 40 Speed among crucial Attributes at all.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Please Note: This is entirely about how rapidly the QuarterBack scans the Field and makes successful Decisions.
* Many College Offenses feature simple Offenses that make this challenging to evaluate.
* It is, nevertheless, far and away the most crucial Aspect of QuarterBacking.
* Accuracy ~ Placement that maximizes the Receiver's Advantage and minimizes that of the Defender.
* Timing ~ Being temporally In Sync with the Receiver. The Ball arriving precisely when the Receiver does.
* Touch ~ The right Speed for the right Play. Only throwing FastBalls when FastBalls are warranted.
* Trajectory ~ Being spatially In Sync with the Receiver ~ enabling him to catch the Ball In Stride.
* Processing Speed Under Pressure.
* Precision Under Pressure.
* Spatial & Temporal Instincts.
* Velocity, irregardless of where he's throwing it: How fast is'is FastBall?
* DownField Precision ~ can he through the Bomb accurately?
Precision: Outstanding. Yes, the Statistics are moderately bloated, due to a prominence of Short Passes, but Trubisky hits the Short, Intermediate, and Long Passes ~ and Left, Right, and Center ~ with remarkable Touch, Timing, and Tracking. His sense of Timing & Trajectory, above all things, is startlingly acute for one in is first Year starting.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure: Impressive. His Temporal and Spatial Timing are mediocre ~ which is to say that he feels Pressure a tick or two too late, Earthlings!! ~ but that's sure's Hell to be expected of someone who's been starting for just a few Months...and his fundamental Poise is excellent: Far better to be a QuarterBack who sometimes holds onto the Ball too long than one who's prone to Duck & Tuck in the face of Phantom Pressure, eh?
The Former needs only Time & Training, given the Processing Speed ~ and Trubisky's got oodles of Processing Speed.
The Latter ~ when it's lacking ~ is rarely cured.
FirePower: Exceptional...and potentially Great. Velocity and DownField Precision. He just needs Time & Training.
Yes, indeed, I am very cynical about QuarterBack Prospects replete with Power or Speed or both, and I believe that History supports me strongly in so being...But Mitchell Trubisky, despite being blessed with natural FirePower ~ and pretty impressive Scrambling Talent!! ~ that all too often translates into a Prospect depending on those Talents, during crucial Developmental Years, to get them by, and thus stumping their Growth, so to speak, as QuarterBacks who can thrive or even survive at the next level...has manifested a cerebral and diagnostic Acuity that defies my Expectations!!
Here's the thing, though: He's only got the one Year ~ pending!! ~ as a Starter.
Todd McShay of Entertainment & Sports Programming NetWork offers the Unsolicited Advice that Trubisky forego the Draft for at least a Year...and I couldn't agree more: As cerebrally advanced as he is, I believe that Trubisky, with only one Campaign under his belt, would place his entire Future at enormous Risk by hitting the Draft before he's had another OffSeason or two to develop and refine his Game before taking on the intensive Demands of the NFL.
Even so: My Role here, above all, is to evaluate Value.
Specifically, I propose to evaluate the Value of the Services of Mitchell Trubisky to the Team that drafts him next Spring, should he indeed opt to ride his Buzz into the Draft...But I am going to strew this Evaluation with Asterisks!!
I always evaluate predicated on a ~ theoretical ~ optimal Situation, and I make no Apology for that. No Team has any Business drafting a Prospect if they haven't evaluated him carefully, thought things through, and concluded that he would fit in perfectly with their Vision ~ and that are therefore perfectly poised to offer an optimal Atmosphere for his Success ~ as opposed to the Success of any number of countless Prospects who's Services they passed on for his.
A Team that drafts a Power Guard for a Zone Blocking Scheme ~ or a Speed Guard for a Power Scheme ~ ought to seriously consider having their Leadership fired and possibly shot. I could go on...
If Trubisky his the Draft this coming Year, whoa to He who expects to install'm as a Year 1 Starter, much less a Day 1 Starter!! Might he succeed?? Yes. He is smart enough. But the Odds of Spectacular Failure would skyrocket.
Trubisky is worth heavy Draft Capital, indeed ~ even now, should he declare, though I definitely reserve the right to reevaluate between now and April ~ but if he hits the Draft after only one Year as a Starter, dropping him behind Center without investing a Year or two into developing him would court Disaster...even with one so Intelligent.
There is much to be learned about Mitchell Trubisky's Long Term Prospects. As noted: Defensive Coordinators haven't had a sufficient Chance, as yet, to read Tape on'm and train their Team to counteract him....And should Trubisky return for the 2017 Campaign, the way that he responds to these Challenges will tell much about'm indeed...
And many a young QuarterBack has seen their Market Value collapse because they stayed in College for one more Year.
Even so...I recommend it. If you don't have The Right Stuff to succeed at the next level, better to find out earlier rather'n later, and allow yourself to hit the NFL with Disappointment but with realistic Expectations. Many an erstwhile College FootBall Hero has forged an admirable, scrappy Career, having had their Egos cut down to size before it was too late.
Of course, if he does hold off for a Year or two...and then subsequently proves that my first Impressions and those of many others were in fact correct...Well, Hell...He could transform not only from a Desperate Gamble into a Franchise QuarterBack Prospect, worth not only the #1 Pick in the Draft, but a pile of 1st Rounders!!
* April Update: Well, he didn't go back for another Year, and I feel that he should've...And I'm reading a lot about how sketchy he allegedly is Under Pressure and how sketchy it is that he couldn't beat out Marguise Williams for the Starting Gig at North Carolina, as if Tom Brady didn't fail to beat out Drew Freaking Henson for the Starting Gig at Michigan, once upon a Time ~ as if it matters!! ~ and I'm reading that Trubisky's Comp is Alexander Smith, which I personally consider far less insulting than the rest of the Football World seems to...But all things considered? I'm sticking to my original Rank and Grade for Trubisky. I believe that he's got The Right Stuff, mentally, and physically, and is a damned good Bet.
I presume Nothing of The Future, but I believe that his occasional Indecisiveness Under Pressure is simply a matter of a lack of Experience, and that he possesses both the Processing Speed and the Will to Win ~ the Drive!! ~ to learn, to improvise, to adapt, and to overcome, and that, give the right Time & Training, he will do precisely that.
Pay the Man!!
Thank you so very much, Draft BreakDown, without whom my Work would be virtually possible.
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!