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The latest anonymous critique of a 21-year-old, plus a new player in the mix for Malik Zaire, the best and worst programs in producing NFL players, and some thoughts from Corey Robinson

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Notre Dame vs Ohio State Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Well folks, as the 2017 NFL Draft approaches, it’s time for another episode of “ND QB DeShone Kizer is the player who scouts and front office folks picked this year as the guy to bash anonymously heading into the draft.”

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The junior who threw for 2,925 yards, 26 touchdowns, and just 9 INT, while also running for 472 yards and 8 more touchdowns — while playing for a completely terrible team, mind you -- has already had to hear about an anonymous AFC head coach calling him a ‘diva,’ had his own college coach say he’s not ready to be drafted, and had to defend a comparison he made of himself to NFL stars (because no other draft prospect has ever done that before). Now, we have the latest bozo who refuses to attach his name to a completely unfounded knock on the kid.

An “unnamed scout” spoke to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about Kizer, saying he’s a “pure millennial” who is “caught up in being more of a quarterback image than being a quarterback.”

He goes on to say that Kizer could thrive on a small market team with the right coaching, but if he goes to a big market, he won’t focus on football.

So let’s recap this anonymous expert’s well-informed take:

  • “He’s a pure millennial” — no shit, is every single player in the draft
  • "He's caught up in being more of a quarterback image than being a quarterback” — I’m sure this is based on fact, and not completely ignoring his meteoric rise from assumed-career-backup to possible NFL 1st Round draft pick in less than 2 years. Yep, that just happened by chance, not from working at being a great quarterback
  • “They're going to have to get him to focus on football” -- yep, definitely...

the kid who played football through having a girlfriend with cancer;

the kid who had to assume the starting role in the 2nd game of a season he never expected to play (and who went on to perform brilliantly);

the kid who had to deal with an idiot coach playing with a revolving door at the most important position on the field in the season opener;

the kid who had to deal with getting benched later in the year for no good reason;

the kid who has had his own head coach speak poorly about his draft-ability, yet continues to handle every interview and question about it with incredible respect and honesty and well-articulated politeness...

Yep, that kid needs to focus on football. He’s never shown the ability to focus or fight through adversity and noise at all.

  • “If he goes to a big market he'll enjoy everything else that comes with the position. The one position in the building you don't want to worry about whether he's going to be focused on football is quarterback” — ten bucks says this is a scout of a team with a late second or early third round pick who just wants him to slide all the way to them. Because otherwise, these quotes can’t be serious

And listen, you probably read the last bullet and said, “Pat, you imbecile, of course that’s what all this is.”

To that I say: that’s absolute garbage. Quit dragging innocent college kids through the mud so that you can end up paying them much less than they’re worth.

The NFL sucks.

The NFL’s Favorite and Least Favorite College Programs

Speaking of the NFL, check out this article about the best and worst college football programs for the past 15 years.

Some interesting items of note:

  • Although Miami being the best in terms of NFL production isn’t much of a surprise considering the Miami teams of the early 2000s, the rest of the Top 10 in terms of that metric are very interesting — Pittsburgh (#2), BC (#3), California (#4), and UCF (#9) all made the list
NCAA Football: Quick Lane Bowl-Boston College vs Maryland Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Meanwhile, the Bottom 10 are even more interesting, considering the list is littered with some of the better/best programs in the country over the past 15 years (Clemson, Ohio State, Florida State, Baylor, West Virginia)
  • Oh, and Notre Dame makes the Bottom 10 list as 9th-worst, so that’s certainly something to hang our hats on
  • Notre Dame also didn’t make any positional “best” lists, including tight ends and offensive line (which might shock a few people)...however, when you think about draft value vs. NFL production, a lot of ND’s successful players were picked pretty high in the draft, so that won’t boost the Irish nearly as much
NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
  • ND did make the Bottom 3 list for linebackers, so that’s just great
  • ND is listed as one of the teams “on the rise,” which makes sense considering the various Irish players being drafted and playing well in the NFL over the past few years

It’s a pretty interesting, if useless, look at how ND stacks up to other programs in terms of churning out productive NFL talent. I recommend checking it out.

Malik Zaire Set a Timetable, and also Might Go to the Ivy League!

Malik Zaire has officially set a timetable for his decision, saying he will make a decision in May between his four finalists: Texas, Wisconsin, Florida,

That’s right, Zaire has added Harvard to his list, and that seems pretty out of place considering Zaire’s ambitions to immediately take control of a big-time FBS offense.

No matter, it makes this all a little more fun to follow. Stay tuned for the next almost-update-but-not-really-an-update on Zaire’s journey deciding on where he might want to grad-transfer!

SI Features a Cool Article from Corey Robinson

If you were wondering how everything went with Corey Robinson and his retirement from football and his election as student body president, this is definitely a solid read.

At the very least, read it this morning to make you feel inspired and actually positive about the fact you have to go to work today.