The Chicago Bears had the football world guessing when they traded up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the 2017 NFL Draft to select former University of North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who had a limited body of work at the collegiate level.
But Trubisky showed why the Bears had faith in him in their 24-17 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field Thursday night.
Trubisky completed 18 of his 25 throws for 166 yards and one touchdown on a throw to veteran wide receiver Victor Cruz in the second quarter of the game. Trubisky added 38 yards on three carries, including a long run for 16 yards.
PHOTOS: Mentor's Mitchell Trubisky has successful NFL debut with Chicago Bears
On the touchdown, Trubisky took the snap out of the shotgun formation, rolled to his left, recognized Cruz had found a hole in the coverage and rifled a throw into the end zone. Cruz stutter-stepped at the line of scrimmage at the snap, and then, ran an abbreviated out route along the goal line to free up space for Trubisky’s throw.
The touchdown drive covered 50 yards in just six plays and took 1:42 off the clock.
In the third quarter, Trubisky engineered a field goal drive that drew the Bears even with the Broncos, 10-10, with 5:28 to play.
A one-year starter at North Carolina, Trubisky was an All-Ohio selection and the 2012 Ohio Mr. Football Award winner after a standout career at Mentor High School.
Trubisky was a full-time starter for only one season in college, but was productive for the Tar Heels, who went 8-5 overall and finished second in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division with a 5-3 record in league play during the 2016 season.
Trubisky completed 304 of his 446 attempts (68.2 percent) for 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns against just six interceptions in 2016. He finished his final year at North Carolina with a 158.3 quarterback rating.