After taking last week off, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is almost ready for showtime. But despite any optimism we may carry into Trubisky’s first preseason start (this Thursday!), we can’t help but hit the pause button after reading Pro Football Focus’ perspective regarding the immediate future for our QB1.
PFF’s Steve Palazzolo ranks each of the league’s 32 starting quarterbacks, and you’ll find Trubisky checking in at No. 26. That puts him in the bottom tier of the site’s rankings and the seventh lowest-ranked quarterback by their grading scale. Yuck.
The only quarterbacks who rank lower than Trubisky are Blake Bortles, Eli Manning, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Josh McCown, and AJ McCarron. Usually, being in the company of a pair of Super Bowl winners (Manning, Flacco) and two signal callers who led their teams to the conference title game last season (Bortles, Keenum) would be a good thing. But that’s clearly not the case as this group rounds out the bottom tier of NFL quarterbacks.
Trubisky wasn’t given much freedom within an unimaginative offense last year, so in a sense, judging his rookie season and trying to project what that all meant for his development moving forward is obviously quite tough. History doesn’t figure to repeat itself in 2018 as Matt Nagy’s system is expected to look like something that would play to Trubisky’s strengths rather than bottle him up and hope he doesn’t make a mistake.
To say this grade is different than what I would have expected coming into 2018 would be an understatement. Really, think about it. Or, rather, let’s go back to the end of the 2017 regular season, where PFF ranked Trubisky as the site’s highest-graded rookie quarterback. Yep, even better than Deshaun Watson.
Back then, Trubisky earned a 75.7 overall grade that edged Watson (75.1) and was remarkably better than grades issued to C.J. Beathard (68.5) and DeShone Kizer (51.1). Overall, Trubisky ranked 24th of the 41 quarterbacks who qualified for PFF’s leaderboard. Now, Trubisky’s updated grade turns out to be a downgrade to 66.4 – which is lower than that of Watson (68.1). Huh? This is a clear step back … one that could use additional explanation after comparing how the grades fell in place back in January.