There were a lot of reasons North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky was scouts’ consensus No. 1 quarterback in the 2017 draft class after just 13 college starts: accuracy, big arm, fast learner, beloved by teammates.
What Trubisky needed was time to develop, and he should get that with the Chicago Bears, who gave up a haul to the San Francisco 49ers – third- and fourth-round picks this year, plus a third-round pick in 2018 – to move up one spot and take him No. 2 overall Thursday night.
Just last month, the Bears signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45 million contract that guarantees Glennon $18.5 million in the first 12 months. But the Bears aren’t on the hook for any money beyond that.
So, the plan seems fairly simple: Head into the offseason with Glennon as the starter and let Trubisky make the transition to an NFL offense under coordinator Dowell Loggains without the pressure of starting in Week 1.
Of course, the guy who was drafted No. 2 last year seemed to be in a similar spot. The Philadelphia Eagles traded up and took Carson Wentz not long after re-signing veteran starter Sam Bradford – only to deal Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings after Teddy Bridgewater’s devastating knee injury in September and start Wentz immediately.
That took some highly unusual circumstances, though. Also, Wentz had played in an under-center, pro-style offense and he’d been a two-year starter. Trubisky started just one year, playing predominantly from the shotgun in a fairly simplistic spread scheme.
Until he’s ready to be the guy – and eventually, the price the Bears paid means Trubisky will be the guy – Glennon can run the show.
Follow Tom Pelissero on Twitter @TomPelissero.