Mitch Trubisky was the second overall pick of 2017 ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Trubisky's first four seasons with the Chicago Bears were heavily inconsistent. But that didn't stop the Pittsburgh Steelers from giving him a two-year contract worth $14 million on day one of the legal tampering period.
Mitch Trubisky is the favorite to start for the Steelers over Mason Rudolph. Fan reactions are mixed, but some analysts, such as Good Morning Football's Kyle Brandt, believe Trubisky is an upgrade for the team over Ben Roethlisberger. Brandt said on Tuesday's Good Morning Football:
“I think we're all happy for Mitch. For a Steeler fan, I think it's underwhelming. It's a little bit. It’s ‘this was the answer? Mitch Trubisky? Okay, I guess.’ But I think, Peter, the only possible answer you could have to how good they're going to be is I don't know. I don't know. Because it's such an Enigma in Chicago and then the year off. But I should be more possibly more positive about this. Because I think you hit it right there. And maybe this sounds blasphemous, but they immediately are better than they were last year. Roethlisberger was not just struggling. He was a liability. He really was."
Brandt's take on Roethlisberger may seem harsh. However, Roethlisberger's statistics and film show that his mobility and arm strength were compromised. In Trubisky's defense, the Bears had unsteady coaching from Matt Nagy and a lack of weapons around him.
Brandt also thinks spending a year with the Buffalo Bills on the bench benefited the former UNC Tar Heel. He said:
"They have a much younger, a much stronger arm, much more athletic runner than they did last, not only last year, but I think two years ago too. So take T.J. Watt, and now take a better more capable quarterback and yes, I will say that. I think Trubisky right now is better than Roethlisberger was last year. And then you take the whole thing, no matter what happened in Chicago, and you put him in Buffalo. And you put them for a year next to the best young, talented quarterback in the league under Brian Daboll for a year. You learn, you sit, you shut up."
Mitch Trubisky has consistently received positive reviews for his personality and leadership abilities. Brian Daboll has given stuck up for him as much as anyone. The Steelers are an organization that values that in their players. Brandt points out that aspect to Mitch Trubisky, saying:
"And I would always come back to what all of his teammates and all of the coaches would say about him in Chicago is that ‘God, Mitch is a great guy. And he's a great citizen, and all he does is encourage his teammates, and go to the film room, and work, and work, and work, and he's everything you could ever want.’ It’s just until it comes to the football, it's not that great. And that's why he's not there. And if you want to look at Justin Fields Bears last year and how absolutely pathetic they were and offense and say ‘wow, maybe Mitch wasn't the problem.’ That's where the I don't know comes from Mitch."
The final point to Brandt's take was that the Steelers made a smart move due to salary-cap reasons.
"I think the money of it is great for the Steelers. But he also is the Jay Feeler now. And he goes from being the guy who was drafted before Mahomes and Watson to the guy who replaces Ben Roethlisberger at Heinz Field and it's a lot of pressure. Just like the other one was. So I don't know what to expect from this. Contender when I look at Mahomes and Allen? No. But Pittsburgh is always in the playoffs. Always. And if he sits there and runs around and makes some plays? They could do it again.”
Mitch Trubisky is a cheap option for salary-cap strapped Steelers
Mitch Trubisky may not be the most exciting name in the world. He'll have a lot to prove entering 2022. The Steelers are giving him his likely best and final shot at being a starter.
Brandt wasn't the only analyst on Good Morning Football who liked the Mitch Trubisky signing for the Steelers. Kay Adams has been vocal about how the move is financially savvy.
While some fans wanted Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo, or a more prominent name, the Steelers lacked the capital to make it happen.
The Steelers could still draft a quarterback to bring in April. Time will tell if they do or not. But temporarily, the team is believed to have found its first successor to the future Hall of Famer, Roethlisberger.