Two years ago, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky endured plenty of criticism after he became the second overall pick in the draft. So he can relate to the criticism that Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, the sixth pick in this year’s draft, has experienced.
Appearing recently on the #PFTPM podcast, Trubisky had some advice for Jones.
“Block out everyone on the outside,” Trubisky said. “Block out the media, Twitter, everybody who’s hating on your situation and trying to say that you don’t deserve it. When you get to the facility, it’s all about football.”
Trubisky can relate to Jones, beyond the fact that they were both sort-of surprise top-10 picks.
“I kind of know Daniel because I have a good friend that coaches at Duke,” Trubisky said. “This kid is all about ball. That’s how I was, too. You just go in and you’re very fortunate for the situation. You just can’t wait to go in and learn, compete and get there with the coaches. Right away, you just got to get in with your teammates and earn their respect, absolutely work your tail off, show that you’re doing absolutely whatever it takes to help the organization win, turn it around and get things going. I kind of know Daniel a little bit. I think he’s up for the challenge. For a lot of these kids, we just get picked and it’s a dream come true. You’re going to go in there, work your tail off and earn the respect of your teammates. Once you start winning games, that’s when you turn the fan base. But first things first you got to get in there and earn the respect of your peers.”
Trubisky knows how it feels to be euphoric about being a high pick, but also to face tough questions that come with the selection.
“I definitely feel with Daniel on how he feels going through that situation because it kind of was very similar to how it was in Chicago,” Trubisky said. “It can feel uncomfortable at first because, for us, we’re just kids coming out of college and it’s a dream come true. You finally get picked and whoever picks you, you don’t know if you’re going to go first or last. For us to get picked it’s a dream come true and then all of a sudden you feel like you’re not accepted into this organization where you already have this added pressure because of where you got selected. That’s not really fair to the kid.
“But at the same time, you learn that’s what comes with the profession of playing professional football at this level. Just having to handle the fan bases, having to handle the situation and pressure of the position you’re in now. It’s all part of the learning process. At the same time it puts a chip on your shoulder. I know it did for me. Everybody who doubted me and thought I didn’t deserve to be picked No. 2 overall, I think I’m still trying to prove those people wrong to this day. That’s something Daniel’s going to have to do.
“At the same time, we’re living the dream. It’s a dream come true. We’re very blessed to be in this situation. It really doesn’t matter whether you get picked first, second or in the sixth or seventh round. It’s an amazing opportunity to play at this level. It all comes down to what you make out of this opportunity now.”
Trubisky has made the most of the opportunity so far, becoming the starter during his rookie year and leading the Bears to an unexpected playoff berth in his second season. Of course, Trubisky didn’t have the added weight of an incumbent starter who had won a pair of Super Bowls.
Whenever Jones plays, he’ll be stepping into that shadow, which could make it even harder for him to satisfy those who are questioning the wisdom of adding him to the team with such a high selection in the draft.