In the days and weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, CBS Sports senior NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler was not only big on Mitchell Trubisky, but also confident that the Chicago Bears would draft him.
Well, that’s exactly what happened. The Bears, to the surprise of many, moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 to select the North Carolina product.
How did Brugler know the Bears were so high on Trubisky?
“Well, about month ago, I had a scout with a team in the NFC North – not the Bears, (but) one of the other three teams – tell me that they left their draft meetings with a good feeling or expecting that the Bears were going to get Trubisky in the first round,” Brugler said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Once Mike Glennon signed in Chicago, people kind of backed off the quarterback-to-Chicago talk at No. 3 overall. But when you really look at the contract, yes, $45 million, but only $18.5 guaranteed. It’s really a glorified one-year deal. They can really be flexible with that deal if they want it to be one year, two years – however they want to play it. This is a win-win for the Bears. The head coach wins because he gets the quarterback with Mike Glennon who can help win right now. The GM wins because he gets the quarterback of the future, a quarterback they really like.”
The knock on Trubisky, of course, is experience, as he started just 13 games in college. Brugler, though, believes Trubisky could be the best, most consistent quarterback in this year’s class.
“When you watch him, you just don’t see a fatal flaw,” Brugler said. “He might not have the huge upside of an Andrew luck, but when you look at the physical traits – his arm, his athleticism, his size and also just the accuracy – I just don’t see a fatal flaw with this player. I think he can be Andy Dalton-plus. You can win in the NFL with that type of player, with that the of quarterback. You can go compete for the division, compete for the playoffs.
The Bears traded four draft picks, including a third-rounder, to move up from No. 3 to No. 2 on Thursday.
“The Bears, they panicked a little bit,” Brugler said. “They traded a few picks to go up to No. 2 to make sure they got Trubisky, but you know what? They got their quarterback, and if it works out at the end, it really won’t matter what they gave up.”
Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, was the next quarterback off the board. The Chiefs moved from No. 27 to No. 10 to select the Texas Tech product.
“I just heard so many positive things about Mahomes,” Brugler said. “That’s really the big question: Where is he mentally in his development? Because if you look at the physical traits, it’s all there. He has the best arm talent in this class. He’s a decent-sized athlete. So the big question is mentally, where is he at? He goes to a great situation in Kansas City where he’s not going to be pressed into action from Day One. Alex Smith has two years left on his deal, so they can bring Patrick Mahomes along at his own pace. I love the fit with Andy Reid. Andy Reid was a big part of Brett Favre’s development in Green Bay, and Patrick Mahomes, we hear that comparison quite a bit because of just the unorthodox style, the way they can improve, the arm talent – Andy did gets a chance to do it again with Mahomes.”
Defensively, Brugler said that Malik Hooker, who went 15th overall to Indianapolis, was the steal of the first round.
“When you have a free safety that has the instincts, the range, the ball-hawking skills, you can really change a game with that type of ability,” Brugler said. “He had seven interceptions last year and averaged 27 yards per return, so he can just be a playmaker. I think for Chris Ballard, the first-year general manager in Indy, he absolutely hit a home run there.”