Mitchell Trubisky, the first quarterback picked in the 2017 draft class, compiled a 77.5 passer rating in twelve games for the Chicago Bears as a rookie. He did it with an anemic offense, a defensive minded head coach, and a surrounding cast of receivers that would be lucky to crack the starting lineup of the other 31 teams in the league.
Jared Goff, the first quarterback taken in the 2016 draft class, compiled a 63.6 passer rating as a rookie in seven games. His offense wasn’t the best either, and he was hampered with a defensive minded head coach too. His starting receivers weren’t much better than Chicago’s, although they did manage to get a career year our of Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin.
Trubisky’s second season will have a new offensive mined head coach, Matt Nagy, calling plays, and two new veteran wide outs and a rookie wide out added to their receiving corps.
Goff’s second year saw a new offensive minded head coach, Sean McVay, calling plays, and they added two vet receivers and a rookie to the mix. Goff’s passer rating jumped to 100.5.
Will Trubisky’s passer rating increase this season? I’ll go out on a limb and say yes.
Goff’s rating increased by 36.9 points from year one to year two, and even thought I’d love to see it happen, I don’t expect Trubisky’s to increase that much. If it did, a 114.4 rating would place him in the top ten of all time.
If Trubisky can get his rating up into the high eightys or low ninetys, I think the Bears would take that kind of growth. If he does push for triple digits then the Bears will be pushing for a playoff spot.
A recent ESPN Insider article listed each quarterback situation, and ranked them by tiers. The Bears situation, with Trubisky, Chase Daniel, and Tyler Bray, checked in at 29th overall according to their panel of 50 league insiders. They were at the top of the fourth tier.
Considering Trubisky’s lack of a track record it’s hard to argue that ranking.
Here’s what they had to say (in block quotes).
Mitchell Trubisky fits into the not-enough-information category, especially after playing for a defensive-minded head coach (John Fox) without much weaponry.
“Without much weaponry” could be the understatement of the entire article.
”He makes me nervous in that most of his plays come off some kind of movement or broke-down play and I think those plays dry up real fast,” an offensive coordinator said. “I just don’t think there is enough information and I certainly can’t evaluate him off what they were doing last year. I will be anxious to see because they are going to run the Kansas City offense. It is a quarterback-driven offense, and I don’t know that he is going to be able to carry it.”
It was a late November stat, but according to this ESPN Tweet, Trubsky had an 80.8 passer rating while in the pocket. That’s higher than what he ended the season at overall.
I thought Trubisky was accurate when operating from a clean pocket last year, but with the predictable offense that was called his pocket wasn’t clean very often.
There was some thought among voters that Trubisky could enjoy a Goff-like revival after undergoing a coaching change and weaponry overhaul, although no one expected Chicago to start scoring the way the Rams did a year ago. One GM questioned Trubisky’s accuracy. Another noted that when Trubisky was in college, he couldn’t make an average team much better than average.
I already alluded to a Goff-like revival, and while it may not as big a jump, a jump is coming.
”I like Trubisky,” a defensive coordinator said. “I think that kid has a shot to be decent. He is athletic, he’s got a big arm, he has pretty good accuracy. When we played him, they had zero receivers. He was playing with a junior-high cast.”
Some NFL insiders understand how to gauge a player with the proper context. If you look at Trubisky’s play as a rookie without taking into consideration his pass catchers and his team’s offensive philosophy, then your doing it wrong.