Mitch Trubisky may have been able to turn his one-year stint with the Buffalo Bills into a starting job with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the former No. 2 overall pick still has some work to do in earning the respect of pundits.
Trubisky appears to have won the starting job over rookie Kenny Pickett and veteran Mason Rudolph for the moment, but many believe he is on shaky ground and will struggle to hold onto the job over the course of the entire season. Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton called Trubisky’s standing into question, identifying him as one of the league’s worst veteran starters.
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Wharton ranked Trubisky as the league’s fourth-worst veteran starter in the NFL, noting that he has done little over his career to justify his No. 2 overall pick in 2017 — especially since he was taken before league MVP Patrick Mahomes that year.
“He wasn’t awful in Chicago throughout his tenure, but inconsistency with his field vision led to far too many turnovers and a lack of impactful plays,” Wharton wrote. “The physical tools were never the issue.”
Wharton noted that Trubisky’s career average of 6.7 yards per completion would have put him tied for 26th last season, and that his career touchdown rate (4 percent) and interception rate (2.4 percent) also would have been in the bottom half of performers. With such a lackluster resume, Trubisky will likely get a strong challenge from Pickett as the next season goes on, Wharton wrote.
Trubisky Fighting for His Job
While Trubisky may be slated as the Steelers stater through the offseason, others join Wharton in predicting that he will have difficulty holding onto the job throughout the season. Pro Football Focus analyst Sam Monson noted that Trubisky has an opportunity not afforded to many “former quarterback busts” — the chance to spend a season as a backup in an attempt to reboot his career.
Trubisky saw little action behind Josh Allen last season, but did manage to impress in his limited opportunities. Though he mostly came in for end-of-game kneel-downs, Trubisky managed to complete 75 percent of his passes and added a rushing touchdown.
Monson still believes that Trubisky will be fighting to keep the starting job as the season goes on, however.
“Can Trubisky play far better in Pittsburgh than he ever did in Chicago?” Monson wrote. “It’s certainly possible, but perhaps more likely is that we see a small uptick that isn’t enough to hold off rookie Kenny Pickett for more than half the season.”
There could be some opportunities for Trubisky. Wharton added that he will have a slate of offensive players better than any of his years as full-time starter for the Bears, which could help in his new chance to start with the Steelers.
“The good news for Trubisky is that Pittsburgh has a great set of weapons to rely on,” Wharton wrote. “He’s never had such a deep array of playmakers, including Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth. Pittsburgh’s offensive line will need to play better than it did last year, but Trubisky could also help them more than Ben Roethlisberger did thanks to his mobility.”
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