Why QB-needy Jets are tantalized by Mitchell Trubisky

Mitchell Trubisky's strong pocket presence and accurate arm could make up for some inexperience. AP Photo/Gerry Broome

This is the fourth in a series highlighting players who could be selected by the New York Jets with the sixth overall pick in the April 27 draft:

Player: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 222 pounds

Scouts, Inc. ranking: No. 28.

Draft projection: First to 12th.

Scouting report: Trubisky is one of the wild cards of the draft -- talented, but inexperienced. He sat on the bench for two seasons, behind Marquise Williams, before starting 13 games in 2016. He could've returned to school for another year of seasoning, but he decided to enter what is generally regarded as a weak quarterback draft class. Trubisky has appealing traits -- a strong enough arm (not a rifle), good mobility in the pocket and toughness. He doesn't get rattled by the pass rush and he can take a hit. There will be a transition because he played in a spread offense. He played almost exclusively in the shotgun (only one pass attempt from under center), so he will have to learn new footwork. Many evaluators believe he has the tools to succeed in the NFL, but he'll need time to develop in the right system. The Jets have done as much pre-draft homework on Trubisky as any quarterback in recent years. His ability to throw on the run would fit their anticipated West Coast system.

Key stats: He set school records last season with 30 touchdown passes, 304 completions, 447 attempts and 3,748 yards. Of course, we're not talking about Quarterback U. Since the common draft started in 1967, only four quarterbacks from UNC have been drafted -- none in the first four rounds. Trubisky gets dinged for his blitz recognition, yet he completed 71 percent of his attempts against the blitz, the best among power-5 quarterbacks. He completed 53 percent on throws of at least 10 yards, tops in the ACC. His accuracy slipped on passes of at least 20 yards -- 35 percent (29th among the power-5). He had only six interceptions in '16, including two in near-hurricane conditions.

Red flags: His scarlet number is 13 -- the number of collegiate starts (and 8-5 record). The next-fewest among this year's top quarterbacks is Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer (23). Trubisky has drawn comparisons to Mark Sanchez, who had only 16 when he came out of USC in 2009. There's still so much he hasn't seen. His inexperience was evident in the Sun Bowl loss to Stanford, when he threw two costly interceptions.

In his own words: "I think I definitely have enough experience. I only have 13 starts, but I played in 30 games. I've come in off the bench and I've seen significant time. I was prepared really well at North Carolina by coach (Keith) Heckendorf, a really good quarterbacks coach, and I've studied the game. I'm a student of the game and I've seen a lot of defenses, and I think that's going to help me. And just my abilities; I feel like I'm in a really good spot right now to take my game to the next level, and I feel really confident."

Scouts' take: ESPN's Todd McShay: "He has the best pocket presence of the quarterbacks in this class. He’s up there among the most accurate in terms of all three levels of the field. He’s just as mobile as (Deshaun) Watson and he has a toughness and charisma that Watson has. ... I worry about the 13 starts, his lack of game experience, and wonder how long it will take to get ready and be an adequate starter in the league."