Mace Windu is One Bad Mutherf***er – Mitch Trubisky 2017 NFL Draft Profile
By Ha Kung Wong
Does anyone remember Mace Windu?
Well, if you’re a Star Wars fan like me, you definitely do. He’s that one cool Jedi from the despised Star Wars Prequels who had a purple lightsaber. That’s right, no blue or green like those other Jedi, Mace was like “I’m using mutherf**kin purple in my mutherf**kin lightsaber. Does anyone here have a problem with this?” And if anyone did have a problem with that, he’d start quoting Ezekiel 25:17…oh wait, sorry. That’s Pulp Fiction. My bad.
Anyway, the point is Mace Windu was cool. The Star Wars Prequels were not. It’s just unfortunate that such an awesome character was stuck in such a bad Star Wars movie. Worst yet, he was completely overshadowed by everyone’s preoccupation with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Sure, those guys are important to the story (what little there was in the prequels), but come on, how awesome would it be if Mace Windu got a story of his own? I keep hoping that he’ll jump out from behind Luke Skywalker in the new Star Wars movie and be like “Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these mutherf**kin’ snakes on this motherf**kin Death Star!” I mean, who wouldn’t want to see that? But I digress.
Perhaps the Tar Heels aren’t as bad as the Star Wars Prequels, finishing 8-5 on a disappointing Sun Bowl loss to Stanford, but whatever press they got was certainly overshadowed by the likes of Louisville and Clemson. And this was particularly true for North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubiskey, as he doesn’t have Lamar Jackson’s Heisman Trophy or Deshaun Watson’s National Championship Trophy. But what he does have is a good shot at being drafted at the top of the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Is he worth the pick? Let’s take a look.
Position: Quarterback (Wears No. 10 because it was his father’s high school number.)
Hometown: Mentor, Ohio
High School: Mentor
College & Major: University of North Carolina / Exercise and Sport Science
Favorite NFL Team: Cleveland Browns
Birthday: August 20
Favorite TV show: “How I Met Your Mother” (Seriously.)
There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of hype surrounding Mr. Biscuit (yes, that’s Trubisky’s actual nickname), particularly for someone who’s only had one full season (13 total starts) at North Carolina. From 2014 to 2015, Trubisky sat behind Marquise Williams, but still managed to complete 82 of 125 pass attempts for 1,014 yards, 11 TDs, and 5 INTs in a reserve role.
But in his only full season as the starting QB, he amassed 3748 passing yards, with a 68 percent completion percentage (good for 1st in the ACC), 30 TDs and 6 INTs, adding 308 rush yards and 5 rushing TDs. He’s 6th all time at UNC in single-season passing yards, 10th in career passing yards, and 7th all time in TDs. Even with all this, Trubisky only received third-team All-ACC honors because of Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. But as it stands, it may Trubisky that ends up being the best QB in the draft.
Scouts have been impressed with Trubisky’s ability to command the offense on field and stay calm but mobile in the pocket. Clearly his college rush stats demonstrate his ability to be an effective dual threat when necessary (as examples, check out 2:35, 3:57 and 4:27 in the video below). They’ve also noted his ability to quickly work through his progression, locate safeties, identify coverages and deliver the ball with significant pop anywhere on the field (see, for example, 0:30 in the video below). In fact, his 62.1 completion percentage on intermediate throws far exceeds both Jackson and Watson, along with other QBs in this draft.
Of course, the biggest concern will be his limited starting experience and the fact that almost 98 percent of his dropbacks came from shotgun, something that he won’t be able to do in the NFL. Just take a look at how Derek Carr went south after he switched to 100% shotgun after his finger injury. Sure, part of that might have been diminished accuracy from the injury, but a significant part of it is the predictability on offense. It limits RB mobility (downhill runners like to get moving before getting the ball) and also limits play action. With regard to limited starting experience, it’s not the be all end all, but teams will remember Mark Sanchez, who was drafted 5th overall also with only one full year as a starter in college. He was an adequate game manager, but his inability to accurately find targets downfield and make decisions under pressure didn’t become exposed until several years into the league.
Regardless, it appears that both the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets have shown significant interest in Trubisky. According to the New York Daily News, the Jets are “all over” Trubisky, and Browns EVP Sashi Brown personally attended the Sun Bowl, where Trubisky completed 23 of 39 for 280 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora noted that both teams are “highly intrigued” by Trubisky. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer also believes that some in the Browns organization prefer Trubisky, although he may need time to acclimate to the NFL. And USA Today’s Tom Pelissero came away from this week’s Senior Bowl after “conversations with scouts and personnel executives” believing Trubisky is considered this year’s No. 1 QB prospect.
There are plenty of QB needy teams in the NFL, and it’ll be interesting to see if we get a repeat of the Eagles and Rams “trade away the farm” approach to drafting QBs. The top 3 picks alone — the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers and the Chicago Bears — are all looking for new signal callers. And if you expand out to the top 10 picks, you can add the New York Jets and potentially the Buffalo Bills to that mix.
In terms of fit, though, it’s a tough call, as Trubisky is mostly untested playing directly under center. I’d expect a team without significant O-line needs (at least relatively speaking compared to others in the top 10 draft spots), like the Browns, to be among the better landing spots, but in light of their numerous first round QB strikeouts, it wouldn’t be surprising for the Browns to be gun-shy and instead go with a defensive back, seeing as how they had the 30 ranked pass defense in the NFL last year.
If not the Browns, the 49ers also appear to be a decent landing spot, seeing as how new head coach Kyle Shanahan has a long term contract in place and a decent amount of time to bring Trubisky along methodically and not have to throw him immediately to the wolves. NFL.com’s Chad Reuter thinks that Trubisky has a lot of the good traits that both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins have, two QBs who were drafted by the Washington Redskins while Shanahan was there. One thing is for sure, though, and that’s I doubt that Trubiskey will last past the top 10 in the draft, if not top 5.
Nothing is certain, and as Mace Windu once said: “Everybody knows, when you make an assumption, you make an ass out of you and umption.” Oh wait, that wasn’t Mace Windu, that was Samuel L. Jackson as Mitch Henessey from “The Long Kiss Goodnight”. Did I mention that I was a Samuel L. Jackson fan?
Estimated Draft Position: Top 10 or better
Likely Landing Spots: Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears