This morning we continue our series of scouting reports on potential Chicago Bears draft targets in this month’s 2017 NFL Draft as week take a look at Notre Dame’s Sophomore Quarterback, DeShone Kizer.
Player: DeShone Kizer
School: Notre Dame
Size: 6’4” and 233 LBS
The wait is over, the NFL Draft is tomorrow and Chicago Bears fans everywhere are growing anxious by the minute. Who will the Bears draft, will they trade back, when will they draft a quarterback? We should get all of those answers tomorrow and Friday night.
No one really knows what the Bears are thinking at this point. They have been linked to almost every defensive star in this draft including Jonathan Allen, Marshon Lattimore, and Jamal Adams. They are also very fond of Deshaun Watson and Mitch Trubisky. However, there may be a quarterback that could be available late in the first round or early second that may be worth taking.
Former Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer started off his college career as a red-shirt freshman. When Malik Zaire broke his ankle, Kizer stepped into the starting role. With no experience, Kizer completed 63 percent of his passes and threw for 2,884 yards and 21 touchdowns. Kizer got off to a hot start in 2016, throwing five touchdowns in his first game against Texas, but his season went downhill from there. He was up and down most of the year and got benched a couple times. He still managed to throw for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Many analysts believe that Kizer should have stayed at Notre Dame for another season. This could cause his draft stock to fall, which is good news for the Bears. It would be a stretch to select Kizer with the third overall pick. If he slides into the late first round or early second the Bears should seriously consider taking him.
Arm Strength: The first thing that popped out at me when watching film on Kizer is his arm strength. People have been talking about how impressive Patrick Mahomes’ arm is and that has overshadowed just how good Kizer’s is. Kizer will have no problem challenging cornerbacks safeties at the NFL level.
Thick Frame and Powerful Grip: Kizer has a solid frame that resembles that of an NFL quarterback. His ability to grip the football is very impressive. The strength he posses allows him to use aggressive pump fakes to move the defense around.
Duel Threat: Kizer has the unique ability to be effective in both the pass and run game. He can make plays with his legs, which makes him dangerous in the red-zone. In just two seasons, Kizer had 18 rushing touchdowns.
Pocket Poise: Kizer is very smooth and comfortable in the pocket. He feels pressure and slides up or down and delivers the ball. He also demonstrates the willingness to stand in the pocket and take a hit to make throws downfield.
Sloppy Mechanics At Times: Kizer has moments where he looks the part of an NFL quarterback, but he does struggle with his mechanics at times. Specifically, footwork. It’s almost as if he gets lazy with his feet and tries to throw the ball relying solely on his arm. This causes his throws to be inaccurate and leads to bad throws and turnovers.
Struggles with Anticipation and Timing: NFL quarterbacks have to be efficient when throwing routes that require precise timing. Kizer could use some improvement in this area. Tape shows that Kizer is great at delivering the ball where it needs to be when he “sees” the open receiver. However, the opposite can be said when he was called upon to anticipate a throw.
Takes A lot of Sacks In The Pocket: As petty as it sounds, this is a negative of Kizer’s play. According to Pro Football Focus, Kizer took 10 sacks in the pocket in 2015 and nine in 2016. This is something that can be easily corrected with the help of NFL coaches.
Every quarterback in this year’s draft class is a project in some way. DeShone Kizer is no different. At the start of 2016, many saw Kizer as the best overall QB in this year’s draft. Things changed when Notre Dame fell apart and finished the season 4-8. Kizer has all the skills to be an NFL quarterback. He just needs to put everything together.
Personally, I think Kizer will ascend in the right situation. Preferably, a small market team. The Bears will have to either trade back in the first round or up in the second round to draft Kizer. There is a lot of smoke being just 24 hours away from the draft, but Arizona Cardinals head coach seems to be really interested in the former Notre Dame quarterback.
Bruce Arians and Kizer together would be a match made in heaven. Don’t forget Arians has worked with Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning early in their careers. If anyone can get Kizer to put it all together, it’s Arians.
Anything can happen on draft night, that’s what Bears fans need to keep in mind. Who knows? Maybe, Kizer will end up in Chicago after all, though, it doesn’t seem very likely at this point.
*Look out for out FULL 1st round mock draft coming out on Thursday morning!
*Check out our Bears Mock Draft 1.0 (Rounds 1-7).