It was only a matter of time, but on Monday in a video released by Bleacher Report, Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer announced he will enter the 2017 NFL Draft. By most experts Kizer is expected to be a top 10 pick.
Thank you @NotreDame pic.twitter.com/LDjdlCf9nw— DeShone Kizer (@DKizer_14) December 12, 2016
Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has Kizer going as high as 2nd to the San Francisco 49ers. Greg Gabriel, former Director of College Scouting for the Chicago Bears, says Kizer is the most talented quarterback in the class and some team in the middle of the first round will hit a home run with Kizer.
ESPN’s draft experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. both said last week that Kizer has to go back to Notre Dame. Kiper and McShay stated Kizer is simply not ready yet and needs a little more developing. They are probably right on that point, but you can’t blame Kizer for leaving if he’s going to be taken in the first round.
They also said this year’s class for quarterbacks is one of the worst they’ve seen. Kiper went as far to say that this might be the first year since 1996 that a quarterback won’t be taken in the first round. But when you think about some of the teams that will be picking high this draft, a couple of them might need a quarterback. The Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and Chicago Bears could all have a hole at the quarterback position.
Kizer took over the starting quarterback position a game and a half into the 2015 season after Malik Zaire broke his ankle in the Virginia game. In 25 career games Kizer amassed 5,805 passing yards, 47 TDs, 19 INTs and a 60% completion percentage. He also ran for 997 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Kizer is Notre Dame’s best quarterback prospect since Jimmy Clausen back in 2009. Clausen went in the second round in the 2010 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers. Brady Quinn was Notre Dame’s last quarterback selected in the first round. He went 22nd overall to the Cleveland Browns in the 2007 NFL Draft. Both are now out of football.
With the departures of Kizer and Zaire all signs point to sophomore Brandon Wimbush as the starter. We saw flashes of him in 2015 when he was Kizer’s backup. According to Rivals.com, Wimbush was a four-star recruit and the fourth best quarterback in his class, which is higher than what Kizer was rated. He redshirted this past season.