2017 NFL Draft: A complete look at quarterbacks for the Chiefs
By John McCarty
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, RS Sophmore (6-4, 233 pounds)
A big time prospect coming into the season firmly appeared high on draft radars after a good game in a losing effort in a season opening loss at Texas. Kizer’s season, along with the rest of Notre Dame, really fell off from that point, leading to serious questions about the Notre Dame signal caller.
- Really good arm strength
- Good size for position
- Good athlete/runner
- Can move around in pocket
- Willing passer in crowd/pressure
- Good natural accuracy with the ball
- Mechanics/footwork can break down
- Can have issues quickly working progressions
- Can try to do to much with football
- Struggles ‘out of rhythm’ with football
Deshone Kizer is an intriguing prospect that I myself am a fan of and quite honestly think is one of the more underrated prospects in the upcoming draft. Big arm with athleticism, Kizer is a case study in the impact of surrounding talent. I will state this simply, the 2016 season was so bad at Notre Dame, both coordinators have changed and Brian Kelly has had to give up play-calling duties. Keep that in mind when people talk about Kizer.
In 2015, with first round draft picks receiver Will Fuller and tackle Ronnie Stanley, second round lineman Nick Martin, and third round running back CJ Procise, Kizer looked like a star. Throwing with confidence, Kizer displayed a big arm with touch and accuracy working multiple levels on the defense and he led the Irish to an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. After losing that talent (the Irish defense lost a lot of talent as well) Kizer came into this season asked to carry the water for the offense. Consequently, he struggled.
When the Irish offense was working (and willing to run the football to keep defenses honest) Kizer appeared to be a top shelf quarterback prospect some believed him to be early this season. He has power and touch, with the ability to move around the pocket. Kizer was asked to run the ball some (Notre Dame’s second leading rusher in 2016) and while he’s certainly not as comfortable as others in this draft, it’s something he can do. At 6-4 and 233 pounds, he’s one of the largest signal callers in this draft.
Concerns arise with Kizer when Notre Dame was in a situation when everyone knew they were throwing. That he struggles to work through progressions would be a nice way of describing Kizer’s pocket presence. Happy feet and jumpy, third and long was a bad spot for the Irish offense last season. Combined with drops and an at times spotty offensive line, Kizer’s confidence and thus his performance really waned throughout the 2016 season. Playcalling also didn’t help, almost at times appears to have been someone calling plays without recognizing situation and circumstances (In a game played in a hurricane, Kizer was asked to throw 27 times, completing only 9)
In 2015, Kizer attacked coverage with confidence and arm strength. He lost confidence in 2016 and stopped trusting his reads and progressions, resulting in multiple in completions and interceptions.
Why Kizer is a fit with for the Chiefs
A big tall quarterback who can throw with power and feel when the offense works. This is what the Chiefs offense is all about. While Kizer needs a season to be more comfortable in the offense, he also needs a coach who has his back. Kizer looked like a guy, like I said, that stopped trusting his reads. Between having a good receiving tight end in Kelce, a true deep threat in Hill and a good intermediate receiver in Maclin, Kizer could be a great fit for the Chiefs.
If you believe Andy Reid can develop a quarterback, Kizer could be an interesting fit. Outside of Smith, Reid usually goes with stronger arm quarterbacks. (Foles and Bray are nothing like Smith). McNabb, while athletic, was not the runner Smith is, but had a really good arm, along with Kevin Kolb. Kizer shows an ability to throw with feel along with power, could really do good things with Reid running this offense.
Will Chiefs draft him at 27? Maybe
Will he be available at 27? Yes
My NFL Comp: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers