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Sep 24, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) runs for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Duke Blue Devils at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

 

DeShone Kizer Still Needs A Lot Of Work

DeShone Kizer is considered by many to be a top-three quarterback in this upcoming draft, and while I may or may not disagree with that he stills needs a lot of work. Stats aren’t the only thing to look for when seeing if a player is an NFL talent, especially for quarterbacks. For the sake of this article, though, we will compare Kizer to some others via stats first. 

By The Numbers

2016-2017 Stats For Top QB’s

Substance: Now it’s clear, Kizer is competing with Deshaun Watson for the worst statistical quarterback here, that isn’t hard to tell. It is also fair to say that Notre Dame played the worst schedule out of all these QB’s when it comes to playing more NFL talent. He also possibly had the best talent around him here behind Watson. So just after a few basic stats, Kizer is already behind the pack.

Taking A Look At The Film

Kizer should very clearly see the free linebacker coming on the stunt, but he takes a moment and steps up — instead of hitting the check down he looks downfield and takes a sack. This isn’t the only time he does this either.


Kizer has a man WIDE OPEN in the seam but struggles to put good touch on it, in which the ball is almost out of reach. A great recovery from his target saved them from an incompletion.


The above clip shows that even at 6-5, Kizer struggles to get the ball up. He beams the ball right at the crashing defender’s chest. And in other examples, there are instances in which wide open slants end up at the target’s legs even though Kizer has a clean pocket.

Wide open tight end, Kizer sails it. Even though the target fully extended his body and was diving, his target still barely gets a finger on it. Another instance where his touch is lacking.


This time Kizer doesn’t throw it too low, rather this time it’s too high. The ball rises/sails on him, and the target is forced to make a really nice grab to avoid a possible turnover. Once again, he struggles with the touch aspect of the throw which is key when hitting receivers in stride to pick up additional yards after the catch.


This time DeShone fails to lead the target. The receiver is wide open and it could possibly be a TD if he is hit in stride. Instead of the latter, Kizer throws a flat bullet where the wide out has to stop his movement to make the grab behind him, and as a result gets a minimal gain.


This is just one of those, what did he see here? I understand it is much easier to be a “Film QB” then actually sit in the pocket and make reads like some quarterbacks say, but this is clearly covered. The safety is crashing down to lay the target out — which he does brutally — and the corner also is in man and rides the wideout throughout the whole route then jumps the pass.


No idea where this ball was going besides maybe to a trainer. Wide open crossing route set up via nice play design and roll out, however, Kizer flat out misses it. Can’t botch these simple throws at the next level, especially when the wideout is free in that kind of space.

We might have to end this right here, this might be the worst throw from any of the QB’s I’ve watched so far. This throw is bad, I just can’t really even explain it. He abandons his footwork and mechanics as he’s in a hurry to release the ball with the pressure coming. He fails to recognize the safety rolling over, thus is easily picked off. I have no idea why Kizer thought this was a good idea, but on 4th-and-7, he may have been desperate to make a play at this juncture.

Verdict

DeShone Kizer isn’t by any means bad, I just don’t think he deserves to be the #1 or #2 QB prospect in the upcoming draft, like at all. This was not to degrade his skill set, but to show you where Kizer is in his development, in my opinion. DeShone has great size, and natural ability as well as being a very smart kid, but hoping that it translates to where he was worth a high first-round pick is a gamble.

Then again what QB isn’t actually a gamble? I’d probably have DeShone Kizer as the worst between the big four (Watson, Mitch, and Mahomes). With that said, there is undoubtedly a head coach somewhere in the league who feels he can mold Kizer into what he envisions his offense’s leader to be.