The Buffalo Bills have been doing their due diligence on the majority of the top quarterbacks available in the 2017 NFL Draft, and a new name has been added to the list.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, the Bills flew down to North Carolina to conduct a private workout with North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Their presence down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina was noted on Sunday by this tweet from UNC assistant coach Gunter Brewer:
— Gunter Brewer (@CoachBrewerUNC) April 9, 2017
Trubisky is in the running to be the first quarterback selected in the 2017 NFL Draft and has been rumored to go as early as the top 10. The Bills hold the 10th overall pick in the first round.
The Bills also have been linked to Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes, Clemson's Deshaun Watson, and Pittsburgh's Nate Peterman over the past week.
Joe B's Take
The Bills are doing a really good -- and public -- job of making sure that all their work on the top quarterbacks in this draft is complete. The next example of that is Trubisky, who many believe will be the first of his position taken.
But the question is, does he fit what the Bills want to do?
The good news, really with all of these quarterbacks, is that they all possess the requisite mobility to operate within offensive coordinator Rick Dennison's system -- and Trubisky is no different. In his one year of starting for the Tar Heels he showed a lot of positive traits to work with.
He has the aforementioned mobility, the ability to keep his eyes downfield while scrambling, and he can really drive the ball outside the numbers on the short-to-intermediate throws. Those touch-and-timing throws are something that likely has NFL types thinking about what he can develop into.
The numbers back it up, too. These stats are from the Optimum Scouting 2017 NFL Draft Guide, who charted their Top 10 draft eligible quarterbacks and their throws from the 2016 season. Trubisky's stats, and ranks within that Top 10:
Throws that travel 0 yards: 54/55 (98.2-percent), ranks 1st
Throws that travel 1-5 yards: 48/54 (88.9-percent), ranks 1st
Throws that travel 6-10 yards: 33/45 (73.33-percent), ranks 2nd
Throws that travel 11-15 yards: 30/45 (66.7-percent), ranks 2nd
Throws that travel 16-20 yards: 12/19 (63.16-percent) ranks 2nd
However, the one concern I have with Trubisky's game is about his deep accuracy, an aspect of his game that he struggles with both from the eye test, and when you look at the numbers:
Throws that travel 21-25 yards: 5/12 (41.7-percent), ranks 8th
Throws that travel 25-plus yards: 7/30 (23.3-percent), ranks 10th
So what's the takeaway? Why are teams seemingly so enamored by a quarterback that completed below one-quarter of his attempts on deep throws?
It's because Trubisky is relatively safe with the ball (30-to-6 touchdowns to interceptions) and carries such a solid completion percentage in those areas, and perhaps after only one year of starting, there is some thought that his arrow is only pointing up.
That said, considering his struggles with deep-ball accuracy, picking him in the top 10 -- which appears to be the price of admission -- is a bit of a gamble. However, all the quarterbacks in this year's draft have their warts. Trubisky might just have the highest floor of the top four quarterbacks, which is leading to his lofty draft status.
As far as the Bills are concerned, Trubisky needs a year on the sidelines -- and that's just what Buffalo can provide him with Tyrod Taylor looking likely to be the starter in 2017. Using the 10th overall selection on him, given their needs, would be one that is met with some skepticism.
However, if they feel that strongly about one of these quarterbacks to use the 10th overall selection, they might get their pick of the litter.
Them doing all of their homework on these players could also signal that they're preparing for the event that either they trade down in the first round, or that any of these players fall all the way down to the 44th overall pick.
I do not, however, believe that all this interest in these quarterbacks is a smokescreen. I believe the Bills are very serious about wanting to add a young signal caller -- whether it be this year or next year.