Cleveland Browns: Could DeShone Kizer be a Brown in 2017?

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Oct 29, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) is sacked by Miami Hurricanes linebacker Shaquille Quarterman (55) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The news that Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer has declared for the NFL Draft could lead to the Cleveland Browns as a potential landing spot for the quarterback.

Cleveland Browns fans were anything but encouraged after seeing Robert Griffin III's performance Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was only one game, in bad weather, but he did not look like he did back as a rookie in 2012.

Griffin will be getting three more shots to prove himself, given he can stay healthy, but the reality may be that he is unfit to be the team's starter in 2017.

Enter the news of Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer declaring for the NFL Draft, and another potential 2017 Browns starting quarterback has entered the conversation.

Kizer had a solid 2016 in terms of statistics, throwing for 2,925 yards, 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, but his Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished a measly 4-8. But the team's record does not matter to NFL scouts, as gauging a prospect is about the individual, and not his team as a whole.

The 6-foot-4 Kizer has the size of an NFL quarterback, but will be entering the 2017 season as a 21-year-old. And while he is a great prospect, it is unlikely he would be worth either of the Browns' two first-round picks, both of which could be in the top-10.

But draft stocks rise and fall drastically from the end of the college football season all the way up until the Draft, making it possible Kizer could be pegged as the number one QB prospect and a top-5 pick come April.

His competition includes Deshaun Watson of Clemson and Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina, although the latter has yet to declare for the Draft.

No matter who declares and how the draft stocks rise and fall, the Browns must make a decision on who should be the starter in 2017. Cody Kessler is the only one currently on the roster who seems like he could lead a team for an entire season and actually pick up a few wins, but drafting another quarterback wouldn't be a bad option. Just as long as the Browns don't reach and miss out on a potentially franchise-changing talent like Myles Garrett.

Josh McCown is likely at the end of his career and with Griffin's struggles, Kessler is in a lonely spot on that depth chart. Taking Kizer with the first pick in the second round or even trading back into the first round could be an option, if the Browns indeed want to draft a QB early. And as quarterbacks sometimes have their values inflated, it may be necessary to take Kizer in the first round if the Browns think he can be the franchise quarterback.

It is too soon to say the Browns should or should not hone in on Kizer, but his name will be linked to the team all the way up until the Draft, no matter how well Griffin may play for the Browns over the final three games.

So settle in and enjoy the next three games, because NFL Draft season is making its routine return to Cleveland in January.