Ryan Lindley: Mitchell Trubisky can be a good NFL quarterback

Mar 23, 2017, 11:22 AM | Updated: 3:23 pm

North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) runs the ball during the first quarter of an NCAA co...

North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) runs the ball during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Illinois, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)

(AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)

LISTEN: Ryan Lindley, former Cardinals quarterback

Ryan Lindley’s days with a quarterbacking influence in Arizona might not be over just yet.

No, Lindley won’t be suiting up for the Cardinals. Mitchell Trubisky, however, who is being coached by Lindley, could wind up playing for Arizona in 2017.

The Cardinals will have 37-year-old Carson Palmer for next year, but that doesn’t help them in terms of their longterm quarterback.

That’s why some mock drafts have linked Trubisky, along with other rookie quarterbacks, to Arizona.

“The things that you can’t teach are really some of his best traits,” Lindley said with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “The kid is naturally a really good athlete, he ran a high 4.6 at the Combine. He’s a tough kid that throws really well on the run.”

Even though Trubisky only started one season with the North Carolina Tar Heels, his impressive physical characteristics and splendid stats have him pegged as a likely first-round pick.

In his first year at the helm, Trubisky threw for 3,748 yards, 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions, with a 68.2 completion percentage. Those numbers were part of the reason the Tar Heels went 8-5 in 2016.

Trubisky has plenty of quality attributes — he’s generally stronger than most quarterbacks coming out of college, produced good numbers, and can make all the throws.

One downside is that he played in a spread offense in North Carolina. This means he’ll have to learn how to play under center in the NFL as well as develop proper footwork.

“He has traits that are like Carson Wentz last year, but he also has some of Jared Goff where he’s going to have some of those challenges of transitioning to the huddle game and breaking things down,” Lindley said. “The one difference I would say is Mitchell’s a football guy.”

Even with those challenges, the Cardinals still have a base level of interest in Trubisky. According to Tony Pauline of, Arizona was at Trubisky’s pro day in North Carolina on Tuesday.

Trubisky will have to overcome a steep learning curve in the NFL, but that didn’t stop Lindley from comparing him to one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen.

“You see Aaron Rodgers do those things where he’s running to his left and throws it 60 yards down the field to the right, Mitchell has that potential,” Lindley said. “I’d pump the brakes and not say that he’s all the way there. I’m not going to say he’s going to come out next year and be Aaron Rodgers for an NFL team, but I think that’s definitely a projection and a ceiling for Mitch.”

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