Former Irish QB DeShone Kizer To Start For Browns: Destined For Failure?

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 21: DeShone Kizer
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 21: DeShone Kizer /

DeShone Kizer appears poised to become the next in a long line of Cleveland Browns Quarterbacks dating back to 1999.

When the Cleveland Browns selected DeShone Kizer in the second round of the NFL Draft, fans assumed he would sit on the bench and learn the NFL game from afar. However, news surfaced that Kizer will start Saturday against the Tampa Buccaneers. The plot thickened when ESPN reported the Browns are actively shopping veteran Quarterback Brock Osweiler. This shift in direction almost guarantees Kizer as the starter when the regular season kicks off.

History indicates this move when end in disaster. 26 helpless Quarterbacks took to the gridiron wearing orange helmets. All 26 Quarterbacks failed. Did the teams flounder because the Quarterbacks played subpar? Did the Quarterbacks flop due to the lack of talent on the team? In most situations, the truth emerges somewhere in the middle.

Kizer is equipped better to turn around a laughing stock franchise than all of the prior 26 Quarterbacks. A list of signal-callers that includes Notre Dame golden boy Brady Quinn.

Hue Jackson and the front office stocked this year’s roster with more talent than the groups that Quinn and others played with. In the offseason, the Browns added to the Offensive Line, signed more receivers and drafted a pass catching Tight End in the first round.

If the situation ever presented itself for a Quarterback to succeed in Cleveland, the time is now.

Is DeShone Kizer truly ready?

Thus far in the preseason, Kizer completed 19-of-31 passes for 254 yards and 1 TD. Defenders sacked the Toledo Central Catholic alum five times in two contests. Most of this occurred against second, third and even fourth team defenses.

At times, Kizer flashes his NFL arm talent, especially on deep balls. However, he holds the ball too much, allowing for him to be sacked. Kizer frequently sat in the pocket too long during his time in South Bend. Banking on Kizer this early would be foolish. He may be prepared. He may not. Kizer has not received the opportunity to truly show his readiness.

Shopping Osweiler and preparing to start Kizer represents an extremely bold strategy for Hue Jackson. It is a boom or bust move. History demonstrates that this move is rife with disaster.

Recent Notre Dame Quarterbacks In The NFL

The recent success of NFL Quarterbacks represents another ominous sign for Kizer. Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn stand as the last two Notre Dame Quarterbacks to play in the NFL. Quinn ended his career after starting 20 games in the NFL and throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. Clausen started only 14 contests while throwing 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Kizer’s physical tools outmatch both Quinn and Clausen. He possesses a stronger arm, bigger framer and greater athleticism. This comparison indicates that Kizer ends up more successful than his two fellow alumni but that says hardly anything.

Between the lack of success for Notre Dame Quarterbacks in the NFL and the Browns continual dumpster fire since 1999, Kizer faces an uphill struggle. His climb begins in earnest on Saturday.