If you are a fan of college football, you will remember when Notre Dame opened their season versus the University of Texas in Austin. I say that because this game was absolutely incredible. It featured an epic back-and-forth match that went into double overtime. In this game, DeShone Kizer beat out Malik Zaire scoring six touchdowns in the Fighting Irish’s loss to the Longhorns.
In my opinion, Kizer has all the traits necessary to be a franchise quarterback. He has the size, athleticism, and an over-the-top delivery which scouts love. Where he struggles is going through his progressions, throwing with anticipation to his receivers, and he generally lacked confidence throughout the season which affected his mechanics and accuracy.
Even though he is my number one quarterback in this draft class, I still only gave him an early second round grade. For reference, here are the grades and scores I gave to the top four quarterbacks in this class:
- Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame – 5.92, Early 2nd
- Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina – 5.83, Early 2nd
- Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech – 5.78, Early 2nd
- Deshaun Watson, Clemson – 5.06, Late 2nd
Two potential places where he’d fit well are with the Houston Texans with Bill O’Brien and the Arizona Cardinals with Bruce Arians. He has the size and arm strength that O’Brien likes in his quarterbacks. Houston needs a new one after Brock Osweiler was a complete bust and was traded to the Cleveland Browns.
Determining his player comparison based on his traits has been extremely difficult. Based on everything I’ve seen, I think Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco 49ers fits him the best. Both have good size, arm talent, and mobility to escape the pocket. Coming out of school, both were pretty raw in terms of going through reads and progressions. Kizer has much more experience in a pro-style system than Kaepernick did coming out of Nevada, but he still needs plenty of time to develop.
Overall, I think Brian Kelly was right about him. He probably should have stayed at school for another season, but I understand why he entered the NFL Draft. He has a top tier skill-set, but just needs to be more consistent.