Scouting Profile: Quarterback DeShone Kizer
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
Weight: 233 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.83 seconds
Arms: 33 1/8″
Hands: 9 7/8″
As we get closer to the NFL Draft, names are moving all over the draft board. Some up, some down, but one that has been moving down is Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. It all began with his former coach Brian Kelly coming forward and stating that Kizer should still be in college, not just on the field, but off the field. Since that time, Albert Breer spoke with an unidentified NFL head coach saying that Kizer has some diva qualities. What he does on the field is what we’re here for, so let’s take a look at what he offers.
Starting with his size, Kizer has one of the better frames for a quarterback in this draft class. Standing 6’4″, he won’t have any issues seeing over his offensive lineman, and on top of that, he’s built like a blocking tight end from the waist-down. His legs look like tree trunks, making him a hard target to tackle, especially for blitzing cornerbacks. He also has very large hands (9 7/8 inches), making the ability to pump-fake appear effortless. There are no concerns about his size.
When watching Kizer drop back to pass, he’s competent, but doesn’t really do anything that stands out as special. However, his approach to the game would benefit those catching passes from him. Kizer is willing to throw the ball up into one-on-one coverage, giving his receiver a shot to come up with it. This isn’t something many elite quarterbacks do, but as a fantasy player, you’ll accept the good with the bad.
He’s able to make all the throws that you’d want him to, but again, nothing special. He has solid arm strength, but often relies on his arm too much, rather than putting his body into his throws, which is why he has so much inconsistency. He also waits a bit too long for plays to develop, waiting until a receiver gets open rather than trying to time their routes. He didn’t have a great cast of wide receivers, but he needs to work on getting the ball out of his hands in a much faster fashion.
The offense that Kizer is coming from is most definitely going to be a lot different than what he’ll do in the NFL. He played in Brian Kelly’s spread offense that also uses a lot of option plays, which propped up Kizer’s rushing totals. While he will be able to scramble and get away from some defenders, Kizer will not be known as a mobile quarterback in the NFL, as he’s too clunky when running. His 40-yard dash time of 4.83 all but solidified what I saw on tape.
In the end, we have a quarterback who is extremely young and inconsistent, which led to him getting benched in the 2016 season. These things don’t often happen to future elite quarterbacks. While Kizer was once considered the position’s top prospect, he’s now looked at as a Day Two type guy. If there was one trait that stood out, I’d be more inclined to believe in him, but nothing stood out as something you can’t find elsewhere.
Potential Landing Spot
Considering I don’t view Kizer as a starter in the NFL right now, his landing spot is going to be difficult to predict, so I’ll go with the team I’d like to see him go to, and that is the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger has been toying with the notion of retiring, and although I don’t believe it, the Steelers need to prepare for life without the big man. As you’ll read below, Kizer would be an excellent student of Roethlisberger’s because their games are not far off one another.
I’m reminded of a young Ben Roethlisberger when watching Kizer, though he lacks the huge arm that Roethlisberger has. They are both big quarterbacks, hard to take down, have the ability to scramble and extend the play (believe it or not, Roethlisberger ran for more than 200 yards early in his career), and neither are afraid to take a hit while trying to get a throw off. Roethlisberger is also known to give his wide receiver a shot in one-on-one situations, similar to what I see in Kizer. This is in no way me saying that Kizer is going to grow up and be Roethlisberger, but it’s me saying that if there’s one quarterback’s game he emulates, it’s Roethlisberger.
To read up on some of the other high-profile NFL Draft prospects, check out the links below:
Mitch Trubisky – (QB, North Carolina)
Deshaun Watson – (QB, Clemson)
Pat Mahomes – (QB, Texas Tech)
Leonard Fournette – (RB, LSU)
Joe Mixon – (RB, Oklahoma)
Christian McCaffrey – (RB, Stanford)
Dalvin Cook – (RB, Florida State)
Corey Davis – (WR, Western Michigan)
Mike Williams – (WR, Clemson)
John Ross – (WR, Washington)