2017 Grade: .135
2017 3rd Down: .114
Week 1 at Pittsburgh: The same issue from the pre-season arose on opening day for Kizer – sacks. Of the seven sacks surrendered by the Browns, six were the rookie’s fault. He holds the ball far too long while surveying the field (I was going to share a GIF, but there were too many.) He did show more moxee than any Browns quarterback has shown since Derek Anderson. His big arm gets him out of trouble, but everything needs to speed up. It was a rough debut, but you can see that the potential for growth is there.
Week 2 at Baltimore: The big arm and willingness to stare down the gun-barrel has adored Browns’ fans to Kizer, but his shortcomings have lost two games for this team in the early going. The rookie excuse works for now, but he needs to speed up his clock in the pocket – he takes way too many unnecessary sacks (this week, it resulted in a fumble.) His decision making wasn’t terrific, nor was his accuracy. Add in a migraine, and it was a day Kizer would like to forget.
Week 3 at Indianapolis: Cleveland is going to find itself in a tricky position in regards to the quarterback going into the 2018 draft. DeShone Kizer makes one or two plays every game that are sheer brilliance, but the negatives far outweigh the positives. He hangs on to the ball too long, he doesn’t progress through reads quickly enough, and he throws far too many ‘interceptable’ balls.
Week 4 vs. Cincinnati: It’s pretty rare, during this project, that a quarterback has more negative drop backs than positives. With the built-in, easy completions, most QBs will trip their way into enough plays to prevent that. With Kizer, nothing seems to come easy (12 drop backs were deemed garbage time as well.) The GIF below is a prime example of a young quarterback trying to find his way. The post route is the initial read, and he gets the coverage he wants. With room to step up into the pocket, this play should be a touchdown. Kizer foregoes the throw, checks it down, and throws an interception on the next play – costing his team seven points.
Week 5 vs. New York Jets: And as quickly as he arrived, the Deshone Kizer era in Cleveland may be a wrap. He isn’t ready to play – he never was. The GIF below shows him neglecting a lay-up touchdown. He’s still taking too many sacks and he can’t decipher coverages pre or post-snap. Kevin Hogan played well in relief and if he plays the rest of the season, with a new rookie QB next year, Kizer may never start for the Browns again.