QB DeShone Kizer, 6’4 233 Notre Dame
What He Does Well
A big bodied quarterback who has the arm strength to win down the field. Kizer’s arm strength has the ball explode out of his hand while his accuracy allows him to drop the ball to receivers as they maintain their speed. Kizer shows the ability to throw with touch dropping the ball over linebackers and putting the ball into tight spots. Along the sidelines and in the redzone Kizer puts the ball where only his receiver can catch the ball. Within the pocket Kizer utilizes quickness and athleticism to slide to avoid defenders while maintaining his focus down the field and going through progressions. Kizer has shown the ability to throw with anticipation and can use his eyes to look off safeties to help receivers get open. Kizer doesn’t need a clean pocket to make his throws and has the arm strength to throw in a muddy pocket and still get the ball downfield. As an above average athlete for the position Kizer is able to extend the play and throw the ball while on the move.
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) April 7, 2017
Where He Lacks
While Kizer has a strong arm to get the ball downfield his short throws can die on him at times often dropping at the receivers feet on short throws to the sideline. At 6’4 Kizer has too many balls batted down at the line of scrimmage for someone at his height. When Kizer’s throws are off it can be traced to poor mechanics where his feet are not married to his upper body which can also affect his velocity. Kizer’s biggest weakness is where he tends to hold onto the ball too long and take some bad sacks. Questions on his ability to quickly diagnose coverages are a legit concern.
After an impressive 2015 coming off the bench because of an injury and huge game against Texas in the 2016 Kizer was the clear top quarterback in this class and a legit top 5 consideration. Kizer has all the tools that you want out of a franchise quarterback. His ideal size along with the ability to drive the ball downfield with accuracy is very enticing to scouts and team executives. Pair that up with the athletic ability to move within the pocket and extend plays and he plays with the same style of a Andrew Luck. With all those reasons there are some red flags that are having Kizer slide down draft boards and rankings. Kizer’s biggest weakness is he holds onto the ball too long which causes him to take some bad sacks. Part of this is he seems to be slow to read coverage or see open receivers and misses out on open receivers while part of it may be him knowing his athletic ability and size allows him to work within a muddy pocket and extend plays. Critics will also cite a decline in his play from 2015 to 2016 along with him being benched multiple times this past season. But when you look into those issues you see a talent drain around Kizer along with questionable coaching decisions that had Kizer pulled for the littlest mistakes. With those concerns it could cause teams to pass on Kizer for other quarterbacks and be drafted somewhere in the back half of the first round or in the second round. Kizer would be best off going to a team with a veteran quarterback where he will not be asked to start during his rookie year. Keep an eye on teams like Arizona, New Orleans or even the Chicago Bears who have shown interest in him and can allow him to develop.
NFL Comparison: Jameis Winston