DeShone Kizer should come out as starter from QB competition
By Andrew Seibt
The Cleveland Browns should go with DeShone Kizer as the starting QB if the competition in training camp remains even over the next month.
The Cleveland Browns exuded extreme patience in waiting until pick No. 52 overall to select DeShone Kizer in this year’s NFL Draft.
The front office did not panic and trade up for the Notre Dame quarterback, and that is something to commend given the lack of suitable quarterback play and front office consistency for the last twenty years.
As we all know, Kizer is in a quarterback room with the likes of Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler, and even Kevin Hogan, and Hue Jackson has also openly stated his plans to let a quarterback competition develop through training camp. For the sake of this article, let’s assume that Osweiler, Kizer, and Kessler are the only three with a realistic chance for the starting job.
Every quarterback competition is different. There was a time where rookie quarterbacks were destined to sit for a year or more to learn behind the incumbent. Those players were drafted on teams that were already built to slowly bring them along until the team decides he gives them the best chance to win.
Nowadays, rookies are thrust into starting jobs and have an expectation to come in and be saviors of franchises. If they don’t live up to the hype, coaches get fired and franchises turn over and the cycle repeats itself.
That being said, let’s take a look at the Browns competition and the three main entrants:
- Most experience/success out of the bunch
- Tall, decent arm
- Understands the weekly grind of an NFL season
- Not mobile at all
- Sub-par numbers with elite defenses and Pro-Bowl weapons on two contending teams
- Has experience in Hue Jackson’s system
- Played well with limited talent around him last year
- Strong work ethic, hard worker
- Doesn’t turn the ball over/good against the pass rush
- Inability to push the ball downfield
- Two concussions
- Can’t make all the throws
- Physically gifted with good mobility
- Strong arm to push the ball downfield
- Most upside of any quarterback in the room
- Inexperienced to NFL speed
- Accuracy issues in camp
- Rookie growing pains
If all three quarterbacks prove to be similar in terms of ability after training camp, there is no reason why the Browns shouldn’t start DeShone Kizer.
On paper, the easy pick for starter is Kessler. He had solid rookie numbers behind a makeshift offensive line and one of the least talented rosters in NFL history. However, he did nothing that leaves me confident that he could push the ball downfield in a clutch situation.
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That is part of the reason Hue Jackson benched him in favor of Josh McCown in the Thursday night game in Baltimore last season. While the decision backfired, it was a clear indication that Kessler did not have the confidence or ability to do what Hue envisioned in his offense.
This is a main reason why I believe Kizer should play early and often for the 2017 Cleveland Browns. You have a pretty good idea of what you have in Kessler, and a very good idea of what you have in Brock Osweiler. With Kizer, the upside compared to the previous two puts him as the lead dog in my opinion.
The Browns need to see what they have in Kizer. The more he sees the field, the better chance he has of working out his rookie growing pains and even have the opportunity to shine and show that this front office may have actually figured it out.
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Osweiler isn’t in the future plans, and with a highly touted crop of quarterbacks coming out next year, Kizer needs to be given the chance to show that the Browns may no longer be a quarterback-needy franchise for the first time in over two decades.