Some NFL analysts believe that Mitchell Trubisky is the top quarterback prospect in the Draft, while others prefer Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes or even Davis Webb.
Brady Quinn, though, is going with the Notre Dame guy.
“I would honestly go with DeShone Kizer, but (the Notre Dame connection) has nothing to do with it,” the CBS Sports NFL analyst told Andrew Bogusch and Pete Prisco, who were filling in as hosts of CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I’ve seen more of him. I think you go back and you look at the 2015 film, and it’s better than Trubisky’s film this year. You can go off of one year of film, but the problem is, we don’t know what to expect. There’s not a lot to compare it to. There’s always analytical people in (NFL) front offices, (but) it’s not a big sample size. It’s hard to really derive what those analytics mean and what those stats mean when it’s only one year of doing it.”
Kizer, at 6-4 and 233 pounds, has an NFL-quarterback body. In 2015, he completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,844 yards and 31 touchdowns (21 passing, 10 rushing). In 2016, his completion percentage fell to 58.7 percent, but he also had career-highs in passing yards (2,925) and passing touchdowns (26).
“Even though Kizer is inconsistent this past year, I still think when you look at his upside, he’s got the highest ceiling of any of these guys,” Quinn said. “So because of that, he’d be the guy that I think I’d be looking at taking first, even though he’s not going to go first. I think for whatever reason, some teams have convinced themselves, they’ve fallen in love with Mitchell Trubisky – and that’s fine because, again, he had a good year. This year, he played better than DeShone Kizer did. I just don’t know that I’d be willing to take the risk of taking a guy who only started 13 games. And all of a sudden, if things don’t work out, I’d be looking at myself in the mirror and saying, ‘Well, it’s probably what I expected. I didn’t see him enough. I shouldn’t have invested such a high-round draft pick in him, only starting 13 games in his college career.’”
Quinn was asked if he would want any quarterback in this year’s class to start in Week 1 of the 2017 season.
“No,” he said in a no-brainer tone. “No. Look, I don’t care who the quarterback is. Unless a team is really built to the point where you’ve got an offensive line to protect him, a running back to help him out, wide receivers to make plays for him – then you maybe make the case for a quarterback coming in and playing right away. And that also includes a good defense to get him the football back or so he doesn’t have to score 30 points a game. That’s probably any quarterback, any year, any draft – because it’s such a big jump from college to the NFL. People don’t understand. So many things are different. The offense you’re running is different, the verbiage, even the way the field is lined – because the hashes are more narrow, the way you look at a defense and how you identify it as a split-safety versus a post-safety defense, all of that changes, and you really have to flip it in your mind.
“And then more so than that, you’re forced to make tougher throws, harder throws – with footwork that some of these guys have never done before,” Quinn continued. “So when you take all of that and you try to put it together and you’re talking about a guy who’s supposed to be a franchise quarterback, who’s supposed to lead your team to a Super Bowl one day, he needs time. All these guys would benefit from a year of just sitting, watching, learning, understanding what’s being asked of them, and then trying to get into it the following year. The problem is because it’s such a quarterback-needy league, that’s evener going to happen, and unfortunately, some of these guys get thrown into situations that I don’t know is going to be the best for them long-term.”