2017 NFL Draft: DeShone Kizer now Competing With Patrick Mahomes


DeShone Kizer was one of the hottest names in the 2017 NFL Draft after declaring. But since then, he’s dropped to the bottom of the first wave of quarterbacks.

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After being arguably the best quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft when he decided to leave Notre Dame a year early. His 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns season in 2016 put him right up there with the top names in the draft.

Kizer could’ve ended up a top three pick in the draft if he played his cards right. A solid NFL Combine and Notre Dame Pro Day, and it would’ve been hard to deny him the best at his position in this class. Besides his 2016 record, all of Kizer’s college accolades put him in the top round of quarterbacks.

The Fighting Irish product didn’t help his draft stock this offseason, though. His below average NFL Combine put him in a tight spot heading into the Pro Day. For some teams, Kizer dug himself a hole that would take a lot of effort to get out of.

His Notre Dame Pro Day was a much better performance, but not one to move him back into the top 10. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears and New York Jets all seemed to remove Kizer from their first-round board. With the hope of later teams waiting for Kizer to fall to them, the play caller now battles for the third quarterback taken after Deshawn Watson and Mitch Trubisky.

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Patrick Mahomes, the former Texas Tech star, started this draft period as an early second-round selection. As the first player in the second group of quarterbacks, Mahomes only posed a slight threat to Kizer back in December.

Now, while Kizer continues to slip, Mahomes climbs. NFL Network analyst, Mike Mayock, was one of the first people to drop Kizer below Mahomes in the draft. In his recent power rankings, Mayock moved Kizer to the fourth quarterback while bumping Mahomes up to third, even if he doesn’t believe Kizer is the fourth best.

“The reality for me is I haven’t changed my opinion on any of these kids,” Mayock told NFL Network. “But I’ve been around the NFL people for the last six weeks. And, from my perspective, Kizer still has the biggest ceiling of any quarterback in this draft. He’s the prototypical NFL franchise quarterback. But he’s not ready to play. I think he’s a year or two away from stepping on an NFL field.”

Mayock believes what we all do – that Kizer is the best NFL talent at the quarterback position in this draft. Mahomes, however, has more flair to his game and could be a guy to make big plays his first year in the NFL.

“Now Mahomes is exciting as all get-out. And there’s a lot of momentum in the NFL for Patrick Mahomes,” Mayock stated. “What he is is a pure gunslinger. He wants to hit a home run every snap of the game. And I really have two or three questions on him. No. 1: Can he settle for a single instead of a home run? No. 2: Can he win in the pocket on a consistent basis? And No. 3: Can he work on his fundamentals, techniques and decision making? And if he can, I’m telling you guys: He’s the most exciting quarterback in this year’s draft.”

Kizer is no longer fighting with Trubisky and Watson, but Mahomes. With the competition for third, he also tries to keep himself within the first-round. Depending on how far down the first quarterback is taken, Kizer could go from the top 10 to the second-round.

It isn’t that Kizer isn’t talented enough, but that he needs time. A year or two down the road, Kizer will be one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. But until then, he’s considered a project, and that’ll scare teams away.

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Don’t let his slide scare you. Kizer is fine and going to be fine once he’s in the league. Until he gets there, though, he’ll continue to be doubted by NFL teams.