Name: DeShone Kizer
School: Notre Dame
Position fit: Starting QB
Stats to know: Had a passer rating of 154.7 when using play action, best in the nation. Passer rating dropped to 85.5 when not using play action, tied for 62nd in the nation.
What he does best:
- Big-bodied, prototypical size and stature.
- Pure and smooth over the top release.
- Power to push the ball to each level with relative ease.
- Athletic player in the pocket and shows good mobility to pick up yards with his legs.
- Good pocket poise with a willingness to stand in there and take a hit to make throws.
- Instinctive in the pocket with the ability to evade defenders and maintain eyes downfield to get through progressions.
- Understands how to tempo the ball and throw with arc and pace up and over defenders.
- Shows he can scan the entire field with pure progression reads.
- Deep ball arm talent is on par with some of the best in the NFL.
- Sloppy footwork/mechanics far too often throughout the course of a game.
- Struggles with short area accuracy at times.
- Inconsistent decision-maker late in games.
- Inconsistent with anticipation – more of a see it, throw it player.
- Hesitant and doesn’t always trust what he sees.
- Had a chance to either tie or win the game with the ball in his hand in six games this season and failed to convert.
- Takes too many sacks in the pocket. We charged him with nine sacks in 2016 and 10 sacks in 2015 (charged his offensive line with only seven that season.
Bottom line: After an impressive Week 1 in which he littered the field with NFL throws, Kizer received No. 1 overall hype though the rest of the season was filled with ups and downs. While he certainly didn’t get much help from a young receiving core and a musical-chairs quarterback controversy, there were many times you expected Kizer to pull his team through to get a win and he failed to do so. Kizer’s traits are as good as any quarterback in the 2017 class, but the inconsistencies with accuracy and decision-making leave a lot of question marks of how he will translate to the next level. The natural instincts for the position and pure arm talent are there, with a coach likely to see those uncoachable traits that and try make him into the player he has the potential to be.