2017 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper gives Deshone Kizer, Budda Baker to Chiefs
By Matt Conner
Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft is out and he’s given the Chiefs a new franchise quarterback in the first round out of Notre Dame.
Deshone Kizer is often considered a part of the big four quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he rarely is mocked all the way to the bottom of the first round, when the Kansas City Chiefs select at No. 27 overall. Kizer is usually one of the first ones chosen, along with Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina, which often leaves the Chiefs linked with Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. However, in his latest NFL mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the Chiefs landing the Notre Dame star quarterback without moving up at all in the first round.
"Quarterback No. 4 in the first round is Kizer, the Notre Dame underclassman who, like Mahomes, is raw and talented. His college coach made news Monday by saying Kizer should have stayed in school another year, and I have said that all along. He needs a year or two behind a veteran in the NFL, and that fits in Kansas City, where Alex Smith is signed through 2018. Remember: Kansas City tried to trade up for Paxton Lynch last year, so we know the Chiefs are thinking about the future. Fifth-round pick Kevin Hogan didn’t last long."
Kiper fully believes the rumors from last year that the Chiefs wanted to get in front of the Broncos to land Paxton Lynch, and he’s not wrong to do so. It’s a good perspective to have that, when combined with the crazy amount of quarterback homework the Chiefs have done this year, means the team is likely to make a move in the first round for a quarterback.
Kizer is a very nice fit here as a very young quarterback who showed off some incredible skills as one of the very best and brightest in all of college football one year only to regress a bit (and fail to win) his last year at Notre Dame. He’s still young and raw but the potential is there. In Kansas City, he can find his rhythm again without any pressure to carry the offense on his shoulders. Alex Smith is around and can hold down the fort until Kizer is ready and Andy Reid’s staff will likely love working with such great potential.