2017 NFL Draft Scouting Reports:
QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
6’4”, 233 lbs.
- Ideal size and frame that NFL teams are looking for.
- Big, strong arm, with good velocity.
- Does well in vertical passing attacks.
- Highly productive college runner, who can at least be a threat in the red zone or short yardage situations.
- Does an okay job of buying a little extra time and keeping his eyes down the field
- Flashes the ability to have really good ball placement, though it isn’t consistent yet.
- Almost two full years of starting experience and dealt with a tough situations at Notre Dame both seasons. In year one he was forced into the starting role early, and in year two he lost a lot of his supporting cast.
- His athletic numbers at the Combine were more on the average side. Overall it’s not a major knock, but his rushing upside is probably more limited than people believe.
- Too often he waits for receivers to get open, rather than throw them open, which can make it tougher to transition at the next level.
- Ball security is a concern, as he has 19 interceptions in less than 700 passing attempts and way too many fumbles.
- Mechanics are pretty underdeveloped right now and it leads to a lot of poor throws.
- Can be late at recognizing pressure, leading to extra sacks.
- Forces too many throws, he needs to do a better job of finding openings in the defense.
- Looked better as a red-shirt freshman than his RS-sophomore season, while some of it could be the loss of the supporting cast, you still want to see better performances.
- Is pretty raw overall, not a guy who figures to be very productive early on in his career.
Kizer has a big arm and has the size NFL teams’ love, but he is probably the riskiest of the top four quarterbacks. There is no doubt his ceiling is high, but he also has one of the lowest floors in this group.
Kizer declaring for NFL Draft this season was a bit of a surprise as he really struggled this year as Notre Dame saw a lot of turnover on offense. While that is a legitimate factor for his production, it doesn’t necessarily explain the decision making concerns and the inconsistent mechanics. Those are valid concerns whether he had the greatest or worst supporting cast in the FBS last season. They are fixable issues, it’s tough to project what level of impact Kizer can have.
One concern with his athletic testing is that he might not be adding as much running value (or the ability to avoid sacks) as was expected. At Notre Dame he wasn’t an elite runner, but he made teams pay for not paying attention to his mobility. By just being average at the Combine, NFL teams probably won’t view it as much of a concern. That makes his early projection even tougher if he can’t contribute above average as a runner.
Despite the concerns, and the likely early struggles, Kizer has a lot of upside due in large part to his big arm and decent ball placement. If a team believes they can clean up his mechanics, and improve his field vision, they could have a top 10-15 caliber quarterback in a couple of years.