For someone who is considered by some to be a top-5 lock, Mitch Trubisky comes with considerable risk.
The North Carolina quarterback dazzled in his one year as a starter, throwing for 3,748 yards, 30 touchdowns and only six interceptions. That comes out to a 6.7 TD% and 1.3 INT%, numbers that suggest a quarterback is throwing a good amount of touchdown passes, while also limiting interceptions. Punch in his stats on a calculator that spits out NFL passer efficiency rating, and Trubisky’s 110.5 really stands out.
And yet, Trubisky is far from a finished product.
Over at The Athletic, Dan Durkin asks whether or not drafting Trubisky is worth the risk.
Trubisky attempted a grand total of 572 passes in his college career, with most coming in his junior season – his lone season as a starter. Further, he didn’t play in a pro style offense, so he is unfamiliar with everything from taking snaps from under center to reading defenses from a non-shotgun position. But he did thrive in North Carolina’s spread attack filled with predetermined reads and run-pass options. Durkin points out that the Dallas Cowboys implemented run-pass options into their scheme with rookie Dak Prescott, and that whichever team drafts Trubisky would be wise to do the same.
Trubisky definitely has the kind of tools a team would like to see out of a quarterback, but it’s quite possible he will need time to develop and refine those skills to get the most out of his talent.
Of course, inserting him at quarterback would only solve one of the Bears issues on offense. More on that in today’s set of Bullets …
If the Bears’ goals are to develop a young quarterback who can grow with the team and simultaneously be successful out of the gate, shouldn’t the team surround whoever the next quarterback is with talent? This is where the Alshon Jeffery conundrum comes in. The Rams (who, like the Bears, are looking for talent to put around a young quarterback), 49ers, and Eagles are listed as possible suitors for Jeffery if he isn’t retained by Chicago. The landing spots are many for a 27-year-old receiver, even if he has a prior injury history and a PED-related suspension on his record.
However, the inclusion of the Eagles seems to be one where it would every bounce has to go Philadelphia’s way. Andrew Kulp of The 700 Level writes that the odds of an Eagles-Jeffery union via free agency aren’t in the team’s favor.
Speaking of odds, what is the probability that the Bears can keep Jeffery without using a Franchise designation for the second straight year? Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago asks because the Bears are stuck in the middle with regards to their direction. If the Bears are in fact in win-now mode as the team enters the third year of John Fox’s four-year contract, can the Bears afford to allow their best reliever to leave via free agency during the prime of his career? Better yet, can they afford to let him go without getting anything in return? Then again, if the Bears are trying to build for the future, how can it not involve a young, talented receiver who can be a safety blanket for a young, developing quarterback. In any case, the Bears-Jeffery situation is one to keep a close eye on with each passing day.
Of course, whether or not the Bears retain Jeffery is only one of the many questions the team must address this offseason. Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling writes about the biggest challenges the Bears will face this offseason. The list features the obvious inclusions of Jeffery, the third pick, and how to solve the quarterback woes, but also what the Bears do to improve the secondary, solve injury concerns, and handling offseason cuts are among the other important things on GM Ryan Pace’s offseason to-do list. Just in case you needed a reminder of how important this offseason was to him and the rest of the organization.
A lot of things have to happen for this scenario to play out on the quarterback carousel, but Chad Jensen of Scout.com’s Mile High Huddle writes a case for the Denver Broncos to bring back Jay Cutler. For starters, Cutler has to reach free agency – and whatever bridges that were burned upon his exit from Denver need to be rebuilt. Also, the Broncos would have to strike out on all their other quarterback targets and get the OK from John Elway to make this move happen. It’s the longest of long shots, especially at this stage of the offseason. But the quarterback position is so valuable right now, Cutler providing the slightest upgrade to a team with a top-notch defense, effective running game, and game-breaking receivers could put Denver back in Super Bowl contention.
Speaking of burned bridges, Dave Hoff of FanRag Sports puts tight end Martellus Bennett is on a list of five free agents the Bears should consider signing. The Bears could use improvement from the tight end spot, and have the kind of cap space that could make Bennett a wealthy free agent. However, because of how things unfolded after Bennett left, a reunion in Chicago is a highly unlikely scenario. However, free agent tight ends such as Jared Cook (Packers) and Jack Doyle (Colts) are more reasonable options for the Bears if they decide to go that route.