The San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears square off this weekend, and it is safe to say that for the coming years, they will be locked at the hip in one particular way. This past April, the decision to swap the No. 2 and No. 3 pick was viewed as a coup for the 49ers. How it ends is something we’ll be tracking for at least the next three years, and maybe longer.
The Bears selected quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and he now has seven starts under his belt. The 49ers ended up selecting a quarterback as well, but they waited until moving up into the back of the third round to select C.J. Beathard. I don’t anticipate Trubisky and Beathard will be locked at the hip in QB discussions, but I came across something interesting.
Chris Biderman tweeted out a side-by-side comparison of Beathard and Trubisky. Trubisky has seven starts under his belt. Beathard has five starts and a little over one half of the Washington game. Here is what the numbers bear out.
Not Garoppolo-related, but interesting nonetheless. pic.twitter.com/iHHWNQwSrq— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) November 27, 2017
Box score scouting won’t tell us nearly enough, but it is interesting to see those kinds of numbers. Additionally, Pro Football Focus gives Beathard a slight edge over Trubisky in their grading scale.
There are different long-term expectations for the two of them, but seeing Beathard put up the numbers he has is encouraging for his own long-term prospects. But what about Trubisky? I spoke with Jeff Berckes of Windy City Gridiron earlier this week in preparation for Sunday’s game. We talked about all things 49ers and Bears, and naturally I inquired about how Trubisky has looked thus far. I mentioned the Beathard numbers, so Jeff offered up some thoughts on both quarterbacks.
Check out what he had to say below. You can also review my responses to his questions here.
As an Iowa fan, Beathard is a guy that I know well. CJ had 2+ years of starting experience in a pro-style offense against good competition. I’m not surprised that Beathard has seemingly won over his teammates and he’s certainly shown enough in my mind to be a guy who will wear an NFL uniform for many years – even if he sports a headset rather than a helmet. That’s a reasonable expectation for where you guys got him in the draft and I hope that he continues to improve and find a role for himself. He comes from a football family and is well thought of back in Iowa.
Having said that, Mitchell Trubisky needs to make sure he’s not being compared to Beathard but to guys like Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz. As the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, the Bears are married to the arm of Mitchell Trubisky, through sickness and in health, for at least 5 years. Expectations are that he will be a franchise QB or bust. Trubisky enters the league as a great metrics type guy – golden arm, great athleticism, looks the part. The problem is that he didn’t win the starting job until his senior year…at North Carolina. Not exactly Quarterback University.
My impression of his rookie season is that I’ve seen everything I’ve needed to see from him to be encouraged. He has shown off his arm with some big time throws, has used his athleticism to extend plays and pick up chunk yardage with his legs, and has taken control of the huddle and assumed leadership of the team. Coming on the heels of the Jay Cutler era, Trubisky offers the same tantalizing arm talent without the bad body language – win / win!
Obviously, sitting at 2-5 as a starter, it hasn’t exactly been all roses. He has made his share of bad throws, been confused by coverages and pressure, and isn’t fluid in working through his progression. I think all of those things can be improved with experience and every rep is valuable for Trubisky at this point. Any honest Bears fan was never expecting a playoff team this year, so the goal of this season was to see enough out of Trubisky to hope that there are brighter days ahead. He’s been able to do that for me.