2017 NFL Draft
Scouting Report
Prospect:  DeShone Kizer


School:          Notre Dame
Ht:  6'-4.5"       Wt:  230
Eligibility:      JR
Uniform:       #14
Position:      QB

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Some may feel it is a bit early to start considering Kizer as a top draft prospect, but given his physical traits and abilities, and the lack of elite quarterback prospects eligible to enter in 2017, it is not a stretch to believe a year of solid progression could put him in the conversation.

Physically, Kizer has a lot that jumps out on tape. For starters, he has a big, sturdy frame that NFL scouts love. The kind of power this allows is evident when he is in the pocket. Similar to Ben Roethlisberger, Kizer isn't afraid to hold onto the ball in the pocket and often shrugs off sacks. He is tough to get to the ground, making him a menace for defenders. He also has terrific arm strength. He drives the ball downfield, as well as across it on sideline routes. He also has tremendous feet that stay active allowing him to stay on balance and maneuver in the pocket. He also lines up under center more than most college quarterbacks, which gives him an advantage when considering his future in the NFL.

Most impressive is his ability to have natural accuracy. I won't argue he is accurate all the time, but there are occasions when he is not thinking and just reacting to what he sees, and in those moments his touch and ball-placement are outstanding. Even when being rushed or having to throw from an awkward arm angle or poor platform, the ball is on the mark. What that tells me is that he is a passer and not a thrower, which I labeled Paxton Lynch as this past year. When he is not rushed, he consistently repeats his throwing motion, from the proper arm angle and platform. That kind of discipline and technique is tough to coach. When considering who he reminds me of at the next level, Matt Stafford could not be a better and/or worse example. His stature, arm strength, and feet are very reminiscent of Stafford. His poise in the pocket is very similar as well. On the other hand, Stafford's biggest problem is repeating his throwing motion, and he struggles with his accuracy because of it.

Still, with all the positive I have mentioned, there is still room for improvement, and that lies on the mental side of the game. Kizer only has 12 starts to his name and it shows at times. He can be late on his reads and miss open receivers because of it. Part of me believes he is thinking too much, but two of the games I scouted (Clemson and USC) were his fourth and sixth games starting for his career. It could easily be chalked up to inexperience. Still, in order for that to be true, we need to see him improve this season. That means hitting receivers out of their breaks which is usually when they get most of their separation. That requires anticipation and confidence in your knowledge of the system. This also applies to deep routes because at the next level, there are a lot of receivers, like Will Fuller that can outrun your arm strength in seconds. He also locks onto receivers at times and that results in defenders getting their hands on his passes. Once again, experience could eliminate that issue but only time will tell.

Overall, Kizer has as much potential as any draft-eligible quarterback in the country, but he needs more reps to turn it into production. A full season behind center will be vital, and if he starts excelling mentally, we could see him go from being a "wild card" to a top-10 pick.

Compares to (Current NFL Player): Matt Stafford (Detroit Lions)

- Prototypical size and strength
- Arm strength
- Active feet
- Consistent technique

- Inexperience
- Locks onto a specific target
- Bad timing through his progressions

Austin Smith
July 24, 2016

1)   Advice for DeShone Kizer, Malik Zaire from past Notre Dame quarterbacks   - ND Insider
2)   Is DeShone Kizer Overlooked?   - Slap The Sign
3)   Whether it's DeShone Kizer or Malik Zaire, Irish will be just fine at QB   - ESPN
4)   DeShone Kizer Twitter
5)   DeShone Kizer Instagram

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