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Profiling the Prospects: Why Mitchell Trubisky has 'potential to be great'


Over the next month, will break down some of the best players in this year's NFL Draft class and what they could bring to Cleveland's youth-laden roster.*

Name:QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 222 pounds

What makes him a first-round pick?

The Mentor native and Mr. Ohio Football emerged as a premier quarterback last season, guiding the Tar Heels to an 8-5 record. In the process, the first-year starter lit up opposing defenses (68 percent for 3,748 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions) as the NFL Draft buzz around him grew increasingly louder.

In his profile, Lance Zierlein writes Trubisky has the "potential to be great" in part thanks to a "big arm and the ability to throw with accuracy from the pocket or on the move."

It's why draft analysts widely view him as one of — if not *the *—  top three quarterbacks in this year's class. Zierlein also writes Trubisky is "tough and competitive, shows courage and poise in the pocket" and has "get-away quickness to avoid sudden pressure from a-gap blitzers with the speed to damage the defensive cause once he leaves the pocket." That was something he showed off at the Combine last month, clocking a 4.67 40-yard dash in addition to shining at other on-field drills.

To be sure, there are questions about how Trubisky — who played in a spread offense at North Carolina — will need to master the finer points (including footwork under center, verbiage, etc.) of playing in a more complex system at the next level. Zierlein writes Trubisky also must "become much more pocket aware and do a better job of recognizing and attacking blitzes to back NFL defensive coordinators off."


Biggest college moment?**

A week after a monster game against Pittsburgh (including a game-winning touchdown pass with seconds to play), Trubisky eviscerated a talented Florida State defense, completing 82 percent of his throws for 405 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

How did he do at the combine?

Trubisky showed off his athleticism in Indianapolis, clocking a 4.67-second 40 (the fourth-best of the quarterbacks) and shined in agility drills like the 20-yard shuttle and three-cone drill.


Quote to know**

"I'm going to excited wherever I go. I have a lot of pride of where I'm from that being my hometown, but no matter what team selects me I'm going to be super excited. I'm going to work as hard as possible wherever I go. It's been a dream come true. It's been a dream of mine to play in the NFL since I was a little kid, so whoever picks me, it's going to be a dream come true."


North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky is widely viewed as one of the best QBs in this year's NFL Draft class.

Why he would make sense for the Browns?**

Forget the obvious connection to Northeast Ohio. Trubisky was a consistently accurate passer in 2016 and has the physical toolbox to play at the next level. If he can do what coach Hue Jackson needs from his quarterbacks, then the Browns -- who have said they haven't yet established "the guy" at the position -- could address a longstanding need.

Reasons why he won't be available at No. 12?

The Browns, owners of the first-overall pick, haven't yet made a decision about what to do here. And in the case they pass on Trubisky, he'll be an intriguing option for quarterback-needy teams before Cleveland jumps back on the clock at 12. ​

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