DeShone Kizer, RS Sophomore, Notre Dame
Height, weight: 6 ft. 4 in, 230 lbs.
2016* - 72-of-116 (62.1 pct.) for 1096 yds, 11 TDs, and 3 INTs
2015 - 210-of-334 (62.9 pct.) for 2,880 yds, 21 TDs, and 10 INTs
*Through first four weeks of the college season
Pros: Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer is a name that by now many Browns fans may have heard of but may not know a lot about due to a large amount of coverage other quarterbacks get from the national media. Kizer has that prototypical size and strength combo that you want in a quarterback. What I also like about Kizer is his mental toughness; he was thrust into the starting role during the 2015 season after starter Malik Zaire’s ankle injury. Kizer lead Notre Dame to a 9-2 record during the regular season and finished with 2,884 yards passing, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller spoke with a scout this week that was very high on Kizer saying “At quarterback, no one is close to [DeShone] Kizer. No one. Maybe Josh Rosen, but no one else has the arm-to-athletic ratio.”
Skip to 6:29 mark:
Video breakdown (Mich St.): Kizer’s deep ball placement and touch are on showcase. He has the arm strength and touch to hit the receiver in stride and drop the pass on the outside shoulder.
Skip to 6:47 mark:
Video breakdown (Mich St.): Kizer’s pocket presence and arm strength are some of the qualities that scouts are excited about. On this play, Kizer stands strong under pressure and climbs the pocket to avoid the edge rusher. He makes a good pass that shows off his arm and ball placement.
Cons: Kizer is youthful and a raw prospect, as indicated by the scout that spoke to Bleacher report’s Matt Miller. This should come as no surprise to most because Kizer spent his first season redshirted and was then thrust into the starting role after Zaire got injured. Kizer needs to continue to develop as a pocket passer; he has the tendency to stare down his first read, which leads to his 10 interceptions. Kizer also needs to improve his consistency and touch; several times Kizer and his big arm will overpower the throw and miss the receiver high.
Skip to 0:11 mark:
Video breakdown (Mich St.): Kizer’s second pass in the Michigan St game is an example of his target fixation. His eyes go immediately to the X receiver and never shift away.
Skip to 1:27 mark:
Video breakdown (Mich St.): Kizer has a tendency to overpower throws and in this example, he sails the pass high with several Spartan defenders in the general area.
Games to Watch:
Sat, Oct 15 vs. Stanford
Sat, Nov 19 at Virginia Tech
Sat, Nov 26 at USC