• Nicholas McGee

The 49ers Should Avoid Mitch Trubisky with the Second Overall Pick

The name most mocks have attached to the 49ers is North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, viewed by many as the best signal-caller in the 2017 class.

It is easy to see why so many think highly of Trubisky. At 6'3” and 220 pounds, he has the size NFL teams are looking for and possesses the arm to make all the throws.

Trubisky has no issue gunning in short-to-medium throws over the middle but can also make passes to the far hash on the sideline and has the arm strength to test defenses deep on a consistent basis.

Combine that arm strength with an ability to evade pressure and make things happen with his legs, and Trubisky seems a sure-fire first-round quarterback prospect.

But there are a number of flaws in Trubisky's game that make spending the second overall pick, which the Niners possess, a significant reach.

Much like Carson Wentz when he came out last year, Trubisky's biggest issue his footwork.

He consistently fails to step into his throws, leading to bad misses on both short-to-intermediate throws and his deeper efforts.

Often times, Trubisky's footwork just appears lazy, as is the case on this play against Pittsburgh.

This should be an easy short completion for Trubisky, but he makes minimal effort to step into the throw and slings the ball well off target with no pressure in his face.

Later in the same game, on a deep shot towards the endzone, Trubisky again keeps his feet planted and the result is somewhat predicatable as he sails the ball well over the head of his intended receiver.

These were not isolated examples, Trubisky continued to struggle with his footwork throughout his final year with the Tar Heels and it was a problem that led to him failing to connect on what have been his bread and butter throws.

Here on this slant against Miami, Trubisky makes a quick decision and gets the ball out immediately but never even attempts to set his feet.

The conclusion of this play is yet again not surprising. Bad mechanics lead to bad passes and this ball is thrown

behind the intended target.

But the most egregious instance of Trubisky's footwork issue came versus Stanford in the Sun Bowl.

For any quarterback looking to throw with anything close to accuracy, this is unacceptable.

Instead of stepping into the throw and transferring his weight into it, Trubisky keeps his foot that should be coming forward pointed at an angle. He does this to such an extent that his foot is almost facing his own endzone and he unsurprisingly sails the ball over the head of the wideout.

Any inaccuracy displayed by Trubisky largely came as a result of his maddeningly poor footwork, and sadly he does have other tendencies that will worry talent evaluators.

As a decision-maker, Trubisky needs significant improvement, with this play versus Georgia serving as evidence of one of the particularly poor choices he made when under pressure.

Backed up against his own endzone, Trubisky is able to escape the pocket but, instead of simply throwing the ball away, he tries to force it to his checkdown receiver, who is forced to intentionally drop the ball to avoid a safety.

Similarly on this play in the game with NC State, Trubisky makes the wrong decision when confronted with a late arriving defender in his face.

Rather than simply taking the sack, Trubisky throws it up for grabs off his backfoot and is fortunate not to see the pass intercepted.

His bad decisions did not simply come when hurried by the opposing pass rush. To the contrary, Trubisky was similarly irresponsible with the football when given time.

On both of these interceptions from the bowl game with Stanford, Trubisky does not look off the defender.

First a defensive back reads his eyes perfectly, seeing that Trubisky is staring down the in route over the middle and quickly moves in to make the pick and set up a big return.

Trubisky does not learn his lesson, though, and later telegraphs a throw to the flat, allowing a defender to get a fantastic break on the ball and return an interception for a touchdown.

There is little doubt Trubisky has the physical tools desired by NFL scouts. However, for the second overall pick, you are looking for a player who can come in and contribute immediately, possibly even one who will contend for the Hall of Fame.

Trubisky's flaws will need major corrections for him to have such a career and, though the Niners are likely to soon have a highly regarded offensive mind as head coach in the form of Kyle Shanahan, they will likely be better off by avoiding use such significant draft capital on a player whose fundamentals may not be salvageable.