Mitch Trubisky was the latest example of rookie quarterbacks ballin’ out in their professional debuts, but Pro Football Focus didn’t even have the Chicago Bears’ top-performing quarterback as its best player on Thursday.
Instead, that honor went to offensive lineman Tom Compton who earned an 86.0 grade from the PFF analysis team. To their credit, we should tip our caps to Compton because he played a strong game at two different offensive line spots. Compton started the game at left guard in place of a recovering Kyle Long, then moved to right tackle when the second unit took the field with Mark Sanchez and stayed for a bit when Trubisky was under center.
You can check out PFF’s grades for the preseason-opening loss against the Broncos here. As for what was written about Trubisky, who earned a notable 85.1 grade for his stellar showing:
“If the rookie quarterback continues to play like he did on Thursday night, he’s going to make it much more difficult for the Bears’ front office and coach staff to stick to their plan of having him sit as a rookie. Although it was just one half of a preseason game against backups, he still played well when many rookie quarterbacks struggle in the preseason. When accounting for batted passes. drops, throwaways, and spikes, Trubisky’s adjusted completion percentage was 90.9 percent.”
The praise continues to roll in for Trubisky, who posted the highest adjusted completion percentage by a rookie in their first preseason appearance since 2014. Trubisky topped Derek Carr (81.3 percent in 2014) in his Raiders debut and Carson Wentz (78.9 percent in 2016) during his Eagles debut. That’s pretty good company as far as I’m concerned.
Now comes the hard part. The adjustments Trubisky makes to keep the good vibes rolling against the Arizona Cardinals next week will be quite telling. Adjustments and continued progress will help inform us on which direction the North Carolina product is trending. And if he can excel as he did in preseason Week 1 after putting some stuff on tape for opposing defensive coaches, then we might have some rumblings similar to what you’d find in a good ole-fashioned quarterback competition. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
Other high grades handed out for the Bears included a pair of running backs (Ka’Deem Carey, 76.1; Tarik Cohen, 72.1), a guard leading their way as a blocker (Taylor Boggs, 79.0), and a pair of defenders (linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, 80.2; defensive end Jonathan Bullard, 78.0)
Kwiatkoski’s development is an under-the-radar bright spot because he could be asked to fill in for fellow inside linebacker Danny Trevathan if he isn’t ready to give it a go to start the season. His run stop percentage being at 23.1 percent last night was a welcome sight if you remember how opposing teams gashed the Bears’ defensive interior after Trevathan and nose tackle Eddie Goldman were put on season-ending injured reserve.