There are a large amount of underclassmen giving up their remaining college eligibility to turn pro, especially at quarterback. Notre Dame‘s DeShone Kizer is one of those players, even though he is not a first-round talent.
From the outside, Kizer is a very good quarterback. He has the size, the arm talent and the athleticism to play at a high level in the NFL. However, his shortcomings appear in the mental aspect of the game and the fact Notre Dame did not play well this year does not help him.
On their weekly radio show ’16 and Counting, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper analyzed the entire quarterback draft class as a whole. Their analysis was not very favorable towards the entire class or Kizer.
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Both men shared the opinion that they did not think there was a first round talent at quarterback in this year’s class. In fact, they both felt all the quarterback should have stayed at school for another year. Kizer was no exception.
“Kizer has the physical tools,” McShay said. “I just don’t think he’s there yet with processing information in terms of his consistency with accuracy”
“DeShone Kizer kind of reminds you a little bit of Jake Locker. Coming out without doing a great job at Notre Dame would bother you. You can’t blame everything on a system that is not suited for you.”
In 25 games at Notre Dame, Kizer completed 60.7% of his passes for 5,805 passing yards, 47 passing touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Notre Dame went 12-11 with him as the starting quarterback.
Despite his solid touchdown-to-interception ratio, accuracy is a legitimate knock on Kizer. His completion percentage dipped below 60% this past year (58.7%). That is not a good sign because the throwing lanes are easier in college than in the NFL.
If he is not accurate in college, what do people think will happen when the throwing windows shrink in the NFL? His accuracy is not going to get better quickly.
McShay and Kizer do not even believe Kizer is the best quarterback in this draft class. They give that distinction to Mitch Trubisky, a redshirt sophomore out of North Carolina. Trubisky is a borderline first round talent by both analysts.
Ultimately, there will probably be one or two teams that will draft a quarterback in the first round because they are desperate for one. However, none of the ones available like Kizer are legitimate first round picks.
Kizer could be drafted in the first round. However, it is very clear he does not look or have the resume of a first round talent. Any team that drafts him will need to improve a lot of his weaknesses; specifically his accuracy.