2019 NFL MVP favorites and odds

The NFL quarterbacks’ MVP dynasty

Two gifted running backs — Shaun Alexander and LaDainian Tomlinson — won the Associated Press NFL MVP Award in consecutive seasons, 2005-2006. Since then, 11 of the past 12 MVPs have been quarterbacks, including 2018 top dog Patrick Mahomes who earned 41 of the 50 first-place votes. Fellow quarterback Drew Brees finished second. So Adrian Peterson’s 2012 season — less than a year removed from a torn ACL — remains the last time somebody other than an NFL quarterback hoisted the NFL MVP hardware.

Spoiler alert: Based on the favorites to win the 2019 MVP, don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon.

Odds via Bovada 2 of 16

Cam Newton

Odds: +2,500
2018 Stats: 3,395 pass yards, 24 TDs and 13 INTs | 488 rush yards  and four TDs

A shoulder injury may have cost Newton the final two games on paper, but anybody who watched the Panthers quarterback grind out the 2018 season knows it cost the team much more. Carolina started the season 6-2 and in a prime position to reach the playoffs. However, the severity of Newton’s shoulder injury prevented him from throwing balls down field and allowed defenses to cheat up and play the underneath routes. After the hot start, the Panthers lost seven of their last eight games. Newton had offseason surgery to repair the shoulder, and he’s expected to be back at 100 percent by the start of the season. His MVP chances ride on improved play of DJ Moore, Jarius Wright and a healthy Greg Olsen. The veteran tight end has missed 16 games over the past two seasons due to injury, but when healthy he’s Cam’s most trusted target. If Olsen misses time, running back Christian McCaffrey’s MVP odds could be just as high as Cam’s. 3 of 16

Philip Rivers

Odds: +2,000
2018 stats: 4,308 pass yards, 32 TDs and 12 INTs

Rivers may be the NFL equivalent of MLB’s Cal Ripken. The Chargers ironman has not missed a game for 13 consecutive seasons. While the league has gone to great lengths to protect the quarterback, the fact Rivers hasn’t sustained a serious injury over the past 208 games is nothing short of a miracle. Led by Keenan Allen, his receiving corps remains intact and receives a slight upgrade with the full-time return of tight end Hunter Henry who missed the 2018 regular season with a torn ACL. The one constant who is missing as of press time is Melvin Gordon. The Chargers starting running back is holding out in hopes of a new contract. If Gordon’s holdout lingers into the regular season, Rivers’ odds of winning the 2019 MVP should take a notable hit. 4 of 16

Jimmy Garoppolo

Odds: +3,300
2018 stats: 718 pass yards, five TDs and three INTs (in only three games due to torn ACL)

The saying goes, “we don’t know what we don’t know,” and when it comes to Jimmy G. what we don’t  know outweighs his elite hype. Garoppolo has yet to play in more than six regular-season games and missed the final 13 games of the 2018 season with a torn ACL. So the 2019 season will be a fresh canvas on which to either paint a masterpiece and fill in those unknown gaps OR post pedestrian stats as he has through his first nine games as the 49ers quarterback: 12:8 TD:INT ratio. If you’re looking for a reason to back this long shot, Kyle Shanahan’s offensive schemes will benefit — not hurt — Jimmy G’s shot at the 2019 MVP. 5 of 16

Matt Ryan

Odds: +3,000
2018 Stats: 4,924 pass yards, 35 TDs and seven INTs

Ryan was one of only four quarterbacks last season to finish with more than 600 pass attempts. Aside from a pass-first offense, the primary reason his pass attempts reached a three-year high is due to a host of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, which turned the secondary into Swiss-cheese city, and opponents racked up early leads. So Ryan, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley (10 TDs as a rookie) and others spent most of the game in rally mode via the pass. If the defense can stay healthy, the Falcons are one of those squads that could flip the script and qualify for the playoffs one year after missing them. Ryan is as consistent as they come and despite turning 30 years old, Jones will go down as one of the top targets in NFL history. 6 of 16

Ben Roethlisberger

Odds: +3,000
2018 Stats: 5,129 pass yards, 34 TDs and 16 INTs

Without Le’Veon Bell last season, Roethlisberger led the NFL in completions (career-high), attempts (career-high), passing yards (career-high) and pass yards per game. The loss of both Bell and Antonio Brown will no doubt change the Steelers’ offensive dynamic, but don’t sleep on wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to fill Brown’s shoes as Big Ben’s primary receiver in addition to a healthy running game of James Connor and Jaylen Samuels behind one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. While many believe the AFC North torch has been passed to Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns, an MVP season by Roethlisberger would mute any chance of that happening. 7 of 16

Deshaun Watson

Odds: +2,000
2018 Stats: 4,165 pass yards, 26 TDs and nine INTs | 551 rush yards and five TDs

The good news for Watson is that he’ll probably compete for an NFL MVP one day. The bad news is that unless his offensive line play improves 1,000 percent, he won’t be among the 2019 MVP finalists. Remember: Despite mobility that rivals Russell Wilson, Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times. To be fair some of those sacks were no doubt Watson’s fault. However, as of early August, head coach Bill O’Brien admits he still doesn’t know who will start on the offensive line. How does this not get addressed in the offseason? Forget Watson’s MVP chances. The Texans could find themselves on the outside looking in come playoff time. 8 of 16

Mitch Trubisky

Odds: +2,000
2018 Stats: 3,223 pass yards, 24 TDs and 12 INTs

The Chicago Bears 2018 defense ranked first in points allowed and against the rush, third in turnover differential (+12) and seventh against the pass. Its pass offense ranked outside the top 20. So the obvious question becomes where can Trubisky improve in his third year when the top three receiving targets remain the same and the Bears front office elected to shake up the running back depth chart after averaging 121 rush yards per game last season (11 th)? It’s a loaded question. Despite an above-average arm and 421 rush yards and three rush TDs last season, it’s hard to fathom Trubisky making enough of a statistical leap toward MVP when the most valuable players — plural — on the team likely reside on the defensive side of the ball. 9 of 16

Russell Wilson

Odds: +2,500
2018 Stats: 3,448 pass yards, 35 TDs and seven INTs

Because the Seahawks averaged a league-leading 160 yards per game last season, Wilson’s passing totals were the lowest since 2014. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for the Seahawks to make another Super Bowl run, the offense needs to find a consistent passing game aside from Wilson running for his life on third and long. Wilson was sacked 51 times last season, but that total could have been higher if not for his elite mobility out of the pocket. So the offensive line play must improve, and Pete Carroll needs to find lighting in a bottle with second-round draft pick DK Metcalf. The 6-foot-4, 228-pound receiver out of Ole Miss is a polarizing brand, but Wilson has no choice but to embrace the rookie because without Doug Baldwin, No. 3’s primary target is 5-foot-11, 175-pound speedster Tyler Lockett. 10 of 16

Carson Wentz

Odds: +1,200
2018 Stats: 3,074 pass yards, 21 TDs and seven INTs (11 games)

Wentz’s 2017 season was cut short due to an ACL tear, and he missed the final three games of the 2018 season with a stress fracture in his back. The knock of Wentz is that these annual ailments date back to high school. However, when you place the injury history on the back burner and assess a potential 16-game campaign for the Eagles quarterback, it’s evident he has the talent and players around him to make a run at an MVP and Super Bowl title. One guy who will help him reach those goals is DeSean Jackson. The speedy, downfield receiver returns to Philadelphia at age 32 and should allow for Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor to enjoy softer coverages this season. Also, the arrival of Jordan Howard should improve the Eagles 28 th-ranked running game of a season ago, which should also boost Wentz’s MVP odds.

By: Ryan Fowler


Winners and losers from NFL Week 4

The one thing NFL fans can always expect is that the unexpected is bound to happen. This certainly was the case in NFL Week 4, as some stunning events unfolded around the league.

An undefeated team was absolutely throttled and looked completely inept in the process. A quarterback who’s generally been unimpressive early in his career busted out with a performance that any legend would be proud to claim.

We’ll focus on both of those situations and plenty more looking at the biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 4.

Siemian and Trubisky Make Claims For Starting Jobs

Written by Gregg Rosenthal at NFL.com

Trevor Siemian took another step toward winning the starting job in Denver. Mitchell Trubisky did his best to ignite a quarterback battle in Chicago. In Cleveland, confusion remains on top of the depth chart.

On the first heavy night of action this preseason with six games, there was thankfully a scarcity of major injuries and plenty of opportunity for overreaction. Here are the stories that should stick, starting with all the quarterback intrigue:

1. Broncos quarterback Siemian looked like a competent, unspectacular starter as usual for his three drives Thursday night, completing 6-of-7 passes for 51 yards. His only incompletion came on a nice deep throw that Emmanuel Sanders couldn’t come down with. While Siemian hardly lit up the scoreboard, he made quick, smart decisions with the ball.

Paxton Lynch, on the other hand, repeatedly held on to the ball too long and misfired on a few open throws. He was lucky to avoid a fumble on one scramble. His final stats didn’t look that much different than Siemian, but he only led the Broncos to three first downs in four drives.

This uninspiring “Siemian wins by default” storyline mirrors the reports coming out of training camp. It was a dark enough night that reporters asked coach Vance Joseph if little-known third-stringer Kyle Sloter is a legitimate option to start. Lynch will need a big performance when he starts next week or Siemian figures to start getting all the starting reps in practice.

2. Mitchell Trubisky was Thursday night’s biggest winner. Sure, he was facing third-string Broncos defenders who were only playing man coverage. But a few of his pinpoint throws on the run and one third-and-17 conversion from the pocket with pressure in his face were impressive no matter the scenario.

The Bears didn’t score a point, gaining only four first downs in six drives with Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez running the show. Glennon threw an ugly pick-six on his first drive, his lack of pocket presence notable when he threw a pass while getting hit. Trubisky, meanwhile, led the Bears on a two-minute touchdown drive in his first NFL action. He led the Bears to 17 points and 14 first downs on his first three drives before stalling some in the fourth quarter.

If nothing else, this result should inspire coach John Fox to eventually stop wasting second-team snaps on Sanchez. Glennon remains a strong bet to start Week 1, but every positive Trubisky performance will increase public pressure and eat into Glennon’s regular season job security.

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Trubisky Shines In Debut

Written by Jeff Dickerson at ESPN.com

Chicago Bears coach John Fox said he won’t change the quarterback depth chart based on rookie Mitchell Trubisky’s impressive performance in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos.

“Our depth chart is not going to change after one game,” Fox said. “That’s a really good defense our first unit went against, probably one of the top three defenses in the league. You have to look at a lot of different things. I can understand how you guys might think [we could make a change], but we’re not going to change a whole lot after one game.”

The Bears have deftly avoided any quarterback controversy between Mike Glennon and Trubisky, but the rookie’s successful debut, coupled with Glennon’s struggles, could make that tougher moving forward.

Glennon’s career with the Bears got off to an inauspicious start.

The exact opposite can be said about Trubisky’s effort in Chicago’s 24-17 exhibition loss at Soldier Field.

Signed in free agency to replace longtime starter Jay Cutler, Glennon threw a pick-six on the third play of the game.

He fired a pass over the head of tight end Zach Miller that landed in the arms of Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr., who returned it 50 yards for a touchdown. Miller appeared to be triple-covered on the play.

Glennon and Chicago’s offense then promptly went three-and-out on their second series. On the Bears’ third offensive possession, a shotgun snap sailed high and wide right of Glennon that Denver’s Jamal Carter recovered.

Glennon finished the night 2-for-8 for 20 yards. His passer rating was 0.0.

“You kind of have to put it in perspective,” Glennon said. “Like I said, we’re exactly one month out [from the regular-season opener against the Atlanta Falcons]. For me, it’s just good to get back out playing. I got to get used to coming out as a starter and playing and being that guy. A couple more preseason games to tune this up and I’m confident we’ll do that.”

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Most Awkward QB Situations In The NFL

Written by Nate Peterson at CBS Sports.com

Ever been humiliated at your job?

Then you can definitely relate to Mike Glennon.

The NFL is a humbling, dog-eat-dog business, but when it comes to suffering indignities at the office, Glennon is a special case.

In Tampa, he was benched for journeyman Josh McCown, who is now playing for his eighth NFL team. He watched the Buccaneers pick Jameis Winston No. 1 overall just two years after drafting him, relegating him to clipboard duty. He had to adjust to three different head coaches and three different coordinators in four seasons.

Then, a break, it seemed. Despite attempting only 11 NFL passes since the start of the 2015 season, he somehow landed a three-year, $45 million deal that includes $19 million guaranteed from the Bears in March.

Finally, Mike Glennon was the man.

At least for seven weeks. Then he headed out to his new team’s draft night party at Soldier Field to sign some autographs, snap some photos with fans and await the pick of the defensive stud that the Bears were absolutely supposed to take at No. 3 overall. That’s when Bears general manager Ryan Pace decided to pants Glennon with the entire football world watching, inexplicably giving up three picks to move up one spot and draft Mitchell Trubisky, a one-year wonder at North Carolina.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Trubisky, the future face of the franchise, played for the most-hated rival of Glennon’s alma mater.

Yep, it’s definitely going to be a fun quarterback room this season in Chicago. It’s so bad that even Jay Cutler, of all people, offered to reach out to Glennon for a pep talk. If the two ever connected, we’re guessing the conversation probably went something like this.

Cutler: Hate the Bears now?

Glennon: Yeah

Cutler: Hey, who got my old parking spot?

But Glennon can take solace in this: He’s not the only quarterback who had an uncomfortable draft night or enters 2017 in an uneasy spot. Entering training camp, here are the 15 most awkward QB situations, ranked.

15. New England Patriots

The Patriots have the best QB situation in the NFL. They have the ageless Tom Brady, the greatest QB of all time, under center. They also have the NFL’s best backup in Jimmy Garoppolo, who Bill Belichick refused to trade in the offseason despite a robust market for his services.

But this situation has the potential to become the most awkward in the NFL, by a mile, if Brady struggles in 2017. Think Joe Montana in a Chiefs uniform, or Jerry Rice running routes for the Raiders and Seahawks. Think Joe Namath with the Rams or Johnny Unitas limping through a season with the Chargers. Think of the unthinkable: Belichick going full Belichick and moving on from Brady, like he has with so many other signature Pats. Our own Joel Corry explained why time and money aren’t on Belichick’s side when it comes to keeping two starting-quality QBs on his roster. And there’s no way Belichick held on to Garoppolo, passing on a ransom of draft capital, to get a measly comp pick if Brady’s backup leaves in free agency after 2017.

Will Brady ever play for another franchise other than the Patriots? No, it can’t happen. It won’t happen. Until it does happen. Brady’s boyhood idol was Montana, so he knows better than anyone that time waits for no man, not even legends.

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The Bears Trade Was Bad, Even If Mitch Is Good

Written by Will Brinson at CBSSports.com

You don’t get medals in football for trying, you get them for results. And the decision by the Bears to trade up for Mitchell Trubisky will ultimately be judged on the results. If Trubisky is a good quarterback, Chicago general manager Ryan Pace will be applauded for doing what he had to do to get a franchise quarterback. If Trubisky stinks, it won’t really matter, because Pace’s bags will be packed for him.

So it’s easy to just throw your hands in the air and wait to find out whether Pace made the right move. But it’s also important to point out that process matters too in these things. And the process for Pace and the Bears in acquiring Trubisky was severely flawed.

Let’s look at a few reasons why.

The trade itself

The Bears shook up the draft when they moved from No. 3 to No. 2 to take Trubisky . No one saw the trade coming, except the 49ers, and they sure didn’t see the Trubisky pick coming. No one did, not even Trubisky. That’s fine, because you want to make sure your plans aren’t picked up on by other teams.

Spending too much time with Trubisky — and by all accounts the Bears did not do that — might have set off some red flags with teams like the Browns, who were also interested in Trubisky.

But it’s pretty obvious that they negotiated against themselves on this one. An interview with 49ers GM John Lynch last week on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” sort of solidifies that idea too.

Lynch was asked how the trade went down and said that he heard from Pace ahead of the draft, with Pace talking about staying in touch because the two GMs were picking right next to each other for several days. Then Pace called back the day before the draft.

“The day before the draft, Ryan called back again and I could tell the urgency had heated up and he said ‘There’s a scenario here in the first round where there’s some teams that I understand want to get up to two. Have you had conversations?’ And I said, ‘Yes, indeed we have, with multiple teams,'” Lynch recalled. “At that point, he said ‘We want the opportunity, will you call me if those things heat up.’ And so I said, ‘Yeah, Ryan, we had this discussion, absolutely.’

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Bears Had Mike Glennon At A Draft Party, Not Knowing They Would Draft His Competition

Written by Eric Edholm at YahooSports.com

The NFL is a strange place where hope turns to horror in a heartbeat.

Imagine being de facto Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon for a moment. You’ve just been signed to be the team’s starting quarterback — paid handsomely, yes — and you’re asked to go to the team’s Miller Lite Bears draft party because, well, you’re now the face of the franchise. Of course you say yes.

But what happens to your face when you see the Bears turning in a card with another quarterback’s name on it? That’s what we only can imagine after reading this Chicago Tribune story by Rich Campbell about Glennon and what transpired Thursday night when the Bears traded up, and paid a steep price to do so, to land QB Mitchell Trubisky.

It didn’t take Glennon long to see that he’s not going to have a long leash with his new team after waiting his turn for years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It’s a cutthroat league, you say, and you’d be right. Very little is guaranteed — especially with contracts — in the NFL. Glennon should have known that this could happen. All of that is true, and being paid a minimum of $18.5 million should soften the blow a bit.

But this goes beyond money. The Bears essentially threw him to the wolves. Unless this Trubisky plan was hatched in the 90 minutes before the draft (which it was not), then asking Glennon to glad hand the high-rolling, bad-beer-drinking fans was a cruel move. Either that, or the left and right hands have no clue what the other is doing.

This has an effect beyond Glennon. You think his agent is going to trust the Bears for one of his clients going forward? You think other agents aren’t taking note of this incident? What about the guys in the locker room? They can’t feel a burning sense of loyalty here from the team either, even if Trubisky ends up being a wise selection.

For Glennon, too, he has to feel that if he wasn’t flat-out lied to, then he certainly wasn’t told honestly what the deal was. Or, as the report said, based on people close to him, like he “had been cheated on.” There’s nothing illegal about it. But the whole thing just casts such a bad light on a franchise that doesn’t win home games and quickly is slipping into Cleveland Brownsdom. You know, before the Browns had a killer draft.

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QB Prospects Still Jockeying For Positioning In NFL Draft

Written by Jeff Legwold at ESPN.com

The quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL draft class have heard the naysayers.

If teams are looking for a sure thing at the top of the draft — say a Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck — it’s probably not happening this year.

But don’t tell that to the draftees.

“If you ask all the guys that are other quarterbacks in this draft class, they’ll probably say the same thing,” Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson said. “It’s just going to make the documentary and the story in five, 10 years even better whenever they start talking good about us. It’s a motivational tip and a humbling tip, and they can say what they want to say, but that’s just opinions, not facts — because we haven’t stepped foot on an NFL field yet, so they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

In most draft years, the pecking order at the top for quarterbacks is set by the time they report to Indianapolis in February for the scouting combine. This year’s class is different, as the opinions vary widely on the best available passers. As a result, those players might actually change their stock significantly between now and the draft’s opening night on April 27.

It also means every interview, clip of video, private workout and even offhanded comment could move one of the quarterbacks to the head of the class.

“All the guys are great, all the guys are very competitive,” Watson said. “All the guys have had success, are going have a successful career in the NFL. Everyone works hard, everyone is motivated to be the guy in that franchise.”

Watson, North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, Pitt’s Nathan Peterman and Cal’s Davis Webb are on many teams’ draft boards. But how they’re ranked differs widely around the league, as the beauty of this class of passers is truly in the eyes of the beholder.

The group has more riding on these last-look workouts and visits than many of its predecessors. In previous years, quarterback prospects were trying to move up a few picks in the weeks leading up to the draft. This group could move entire rounds as they leapfrog each other based on tryouts.

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Winners From Combine Day 2.

Written by Will Brinson at CBSSports.com

Another day is in the books at the 2017 NFL combine and we’re still lacking in real action here in Indy. The running backs and offensive linemen did the bench press, but we haven’t seen anything in terms of on-field drills yet thanks to the backed-up schedule.

And yet there’s plenty to focus on from Thursday’s goings-on, particularly with more coaches and GMs speaking about the state of their teams.

Let’s dive right in and look at some winners and losers from Thursday’s combine action.


Dalvin Cook: The Florida State running back has concerns about his shoulder that could potentially scare teams. So when he sat down for the bench press, there was some concern about what number he might put up. Cook, who described himself as the “best running back in the draft” during his media session, quelled any concerns quickly by throwing up 22 reps on the bench.

Alex Smith: Chiefs GM John Dorsey joined us on the CBS Sports set on Thursday and stated unequivocally that in 2017 his quarterback will be the veteran  who’s been on the roster foryears. Without discussing any specifics about other quarterbacks, Dorsey said it’s “case closed” for Smith as the starter in Kansas City. There was plenty of belief that he could pursue soon-to-be free agent Tony Romo, but consider that off the table.

Mitch Trubisky: The North Carolina quarterback was an inch taller than many expected. Sound the alarms! But seriously, Trubisky checked in at 6-foot-2, and that means he’s just as tall as the rest of the top quarterbacks in this class outside of Deshone Kizer. Trubisky saw some speculation on Thursday that he might be actually taken No. 1 overall , but it still remains a pretty big longshot that the Browns would bypass Myles Garrett and take a gamble on a quarterback with 13 starts.

Jack Del Rio: Del Rio didn’t actually have to do anything to win other than have yours truly deal to him in blackjack. This is a thing that actually happened, and it was amazing. Not only did the Raiders head coach hit on 17, but he managed to pull a blackjack on the second hand.

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Mitch Trubisky is A NFL Level Draft Prospect

Written by Greg Gabriel at STLToday.com

Going into the 2016 college football season, the quarterback names we heard as potential premium-round draft prospects were Deshaun Watson from Clemson, Chad Kelly from Ole Miss and Brad Kaaya from Miami.

After the first couple of games, Notre Dame third-year sophomore DeShone Kizer jumped to the top of the list.

Based on his play in the first half of the season, a new name has emerged in the last few weeks and that is Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina.

Trubisky is a fourth-year junior and while he has had some starts in the past, this is his first year as a full-time starter.

Coming out of high school, Trubisky was rated as a three-star prospect, but still received offers from some top schools. Ohio State, Michigan State and Alabama were among the schools offering Trubisky.

Trubisky has excellent size (listed at 6-3, 225 pounds), is very athletic and has a very strong arm. While he plays in a fairly simple spread offense, you see him make all the throws that an NFL quarterback makes.

Through seven games he has competed 203-of-285 throws for a 71.2 percent completion rate and 2,378 yards. He has also thrown for 18 touchdowns and only two interceptions. His breakout game was against Pitt in Week Four when he led North Carolina to a come from behind victory, passing for 453 yards and five touchdowns.

Trubisky’s stats can be a bit deceptive, as they throw a number of bubble screens and quick passes designed for the receiver to gain yards after the catch. Still, he shows good accuracy and ball placement on the medium to long range throws. He easily can complete a throw 50-60 yards downfield.

Trubisky has an overhand delivery with a quick release and throws a tight ball with good velocity. While he makes some outstanding throws, he can get lazy with his footwork at times and throw off his back foot or when out of balance. When that happens, the ball can sale and his accuracy is off.

Trubisky generally shows good ability to read the field, has a minor progression to go through and makes good decisions. He seldom forces the ball. He also has the athleticism, quick feet and speed to avoid pass rushers and make and extend plays with his feet. It is very obvious on tape that he is in command on the field and has leadership skills.

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