Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer is doing anything and everything possible in order to not only impress the coaches, but to improve his game and snatch the starting spot from Cody Kessler. It is only the first week of Training Camp, but Kizer is doing well. He is receiving first-team reps along with Cody Kessler (note: Brock Osweiler is working exclusively with the second team).1 Observers have noted the passes have noticeably more velocity coming out of his hands, and other players are noticing his hard work and talent. According to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, even veteran wide receiver Kenny Britt has taken notice of the rookie.
“He’s growing each day, each day. From OTAs, I could tell he was a different person. I actually asked him yesterday has the offense slowed down for him. He said, ‘Yes,’ and I could tell that he’s looking at certain things. He’s seeing the defense before the snap count, and once he lines up, he knows there’s certain things he has to do, and he’s going to be one of the great ones.”
At 6-foot-4, Kizer has the size to potentially be a franchise quarterback for years to come. He also has the arm strength. The only question is if he can transition to the NFL and be consistent. With the size, body type, and athleticism to be elite, he needs to be able to read defenses correctly, check down (but not all the time), and have the mindset to put in the work.
Britt, like others, has noticed both his work during practice and post-practice.
“Yeah, if he keeps going, focuses on the track that he’s on, to tell you the truth, he could be one of the great ones. He’s learning fast and he’s got a strong arm.”
Kizer is putting in the extra work post-practice as well. In the video below from 92.3 The Fan’s Keith Britton, he’s seen with a playbook in his hand, motioning and telling imaginary teammates what to do pre-snap, and then going through his reads and progressions during the play as well.
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) July 27, 2017
Britt has had 10 quarterbacks throughout his nine-year career, so he has a wealth of experience with them. Although just four practices into the season is far too early to give such praise to a rookie quarterback, it is far better than having his initial indoctrination to the NFL being a struggle.
Issues with center exchange for #Bears QB Mitch Trubisky in spring carry into camp. 3 of his 6 snaps in first team drills fell on ground.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) July 29, 2017
Quarterback Brock Osweiler has also been impressed with Kizer.
“I think DeShone is a tremendous quarterback. I really do. Where I first saw him in the spring to where he is today, he just keeps getting better and better. I could tell he had a tremendous summer training and throwing, things like that. He’s in great shape physically. He’s really on the screws when it comes to his playbook. The kid has a big arm. There’s not a throw he can’t make, so I think he has a ton of talent. I’m very excited to see what he does.”
Running back Duke Johnson went even further, stating that the whole team agrees with Britt.
— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) July 31, 2017
With a revamped offensive line, Kizer needs to show off that he has the highest ceiling among Browns quarterbacks when given the opportunity. Thus far, he has been doing so. Maybe, just maybe, Cleveland will be able to stop the quarterback churn that has been constant since 1999. But, Cody Kessler still has a say in this race too.