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2017 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

The Giants might be drafting Eli Manning’s eventual successor. Could it be Kizer?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame vs Army Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have made a tour of every top quarterback prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft. With Eli Manning “on the back nine” of his career (as Jerry Reese put it), it only makes sense that they will be putting a greater emphasis on studying the quarterback position. No team wants to be caught without a franchise quarterback, and the Giants will want to set themselves up with Manning’s successor.

Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer has some of the highest physical upside of any quarterback in the draft, but as a red-shirt sophomore he also has significant questions.



  • Prototypical size and frame for an NFL quarterback. Tall enough to see over the offensive line, stout enough to take punishment or escape arm tackles.
  • Good athlete. Can extend plays and make defenses pay on scrambles. Has 18 rushing touchdowns over the last two years.
  • Big arm. Kizer can drive the ball down the field, even if he can’t set his base first.
  • Scans the field and goes through his progressions. Doesn’t just take the first read and pull the ball down if it isn’t there.


  • Inexperienced. Only has two seasons as a starter.
  • Throws a few too many interceptions. 19 interceptions in 25 career games.
  • Decision making is sometimes questionable.
  • Many of his completions were short-yardage or behind the line of scrimmage

Does He Fit With The Giants?

This is a loaded question for every quarterback in this draft class.

Physically, he has everything a team wants to see from a potential franchise quarterback. He’s big, strong, athletic, has a big arm, can make all the throws and throws a catchable. Kizer has the athleticism to extend plays, run bootlegs, and even make defenses pay if they don’t account for him as a runner.

But the trick to finding a developmental quarterback, I think, is between the ears. I haven’t spoken to Kizer, so I can’t comment on what kind of student he is, how coachable he is, or what his work ethic and behind the scenes leadership is like.

Kizer has had a … Well, let’s say “contentious” relationship with head coach Brian Kelly. That was, reportedly, a big reason why he left Notre Dame early, despite needing more time in college before turning pro. However, Kelly has had a history of publicly calling out his players, so I’m not going to knock Kizer for that.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 30th overall

CBS Sports - 32nd overall

Draft Countdown - 19th overall

Draft Tek - 40th overall

Final Thoughts

Like the rest of the 2017 quarterback class, what you think of Deshone Kizer largely depends on whether you rate him based on what he is, or what he could be.

Kizer isn’t ready to start in the NFL; he is young, will need to adjust to an NFL offense, has inefficiencies and inconsistencies. All of that will likely hurt him in the view of some. But then again, it’s a common theme in this class, and every one of the prospects are developmental quarterbacks to some extent. From a physical standpoint, Kizer has everything you are looking for in a future franchise quarterback. He has the arm talent, the stature, and the athleticism that you want to see from a starting NFL quarterback.

Kizer has a lot to work on, but it’s far from inconceivable that a team will fall in love with his physical upside.