Recent History of Notre Dame Quarterbacks in the NFL

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 25: Jimmy Clausen
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 25: Jimmy Clausen /

The Cleveland Browns announced former Notre Dame Quarterback DeShone Kizer as the starter on Sunday afternoon. Kizer started the preseason contest against Tampa Bay the previous day. Despite pedestrian numbers, he appeared poised and comfortable with the first team unit. Kizer only completed 6 of 18 passes. However, he accurately threw a number of passes that receivers dropped.

Recent Notre Dame Quarterbacks failed to live up to their draft status, in particular Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn. The tandem of Clausen and Quinn set the bar low. How low was the bar actually set?

In other words, how well (or not well) did each player perform in their first year as an NFL starter?

Brady Quinn

Quinn only played in one contest when starter Derek Anderson went down to injury. He completed 3 out of 8 passes. Quinn did not start the majority of the games until his third year in the NFL.

When he finally took the role of permanent starter in 2009, he only completed 53.1% of his passes for 1,339 yards with 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

The next year, the Browns traded Quinn to the Broncos where he never played a game. He stopped next in Kansas City with the Chiefs. Quinn started 8 games for an awful Kansas City team in 2012. He completed 56.9% of his throws for 1,141 yards with 2 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

Quinn’s career ended in 2013 with the St. Louis Rams.

Jimmy Clausen

The “Can’t Miss” prospect started the majority of his NFL games during his first year in the league. Clausen started 10 contests while playing in 13 during the 2010 season. He completed 157 of 299  passes (52.5%) for 1,558 yards with 3 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

Clausen held on in the league until 2015. He played for the Panthers, Bears and Ravens. He started for all of the above teams.

What does this mean for DeShone Kizer?

Recent history suggest Kizer flops in the NFL. However, he demonstrated the skills necessary to play extremely well. He definitely plays better than Clausen and Quinn in their first years as starters. However, that hardly means anything as the statistics show.