Final 2017 Cleveland Browns Report Card: Quarterbacks

It’s grading season! The 2017 Cleveland Browns were a disaster to say the least, completing their season without earning one single win. So overall, most would give the Browns overall grade for the season an F. The team had lowered expectations, but somehow they fell below those expectations. But, the parts of the Browns were not all created equal. There are positions that performed better than others.

So, over the course of the next couple weeks, I will give out my grades for each position and their performance during the 2017 NFL season. Up first is the quarterback position.

Overall Grade: D

DeShone Kizer: D+

53.6 percent passing for 2,894 yards, 11 touchdowns and 22 interceptions; 77 attempts for 419 yards, five touchdowns and 5.4 yards per attempt in 15 games

Cody Kessler: F

47.8 percent passing for 126 yards and one interception in three games

Kevin Hogan: D

61.3 percent passing for 517 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions; 10 attempts for 71 yards and 7.1 yards per attempt in four games

Top Grade: DeShone Kizer

This was hard to figure out because not one of the quarterbacks was even average during the 2017 NFL season. But, I am giving DeShone Kizer the top grade of the quarterback position. Kizer finished the season completing 53.6 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards, 11 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Kizer struggled most of the season in the same areas that he struggled with in college. He had spurts of inaccuracy that stalled or doomed drives. He made some questionable decisions that led to many of his 22 interceptions. Kizer did not show a lot of improvement from Week 1 to Week 17 and that is the disappointing part.

But, I give Kizer the top grade because he did show some glimpses of his immense physical talent. And he preserved through a tough situation, never giving up and showing the toughness to survive n 0-16 season. Hue Jackson dealt him a horrible hand through the play calling, scheme and overall treatment of the young quarterback. Another reason for Kizer receiving my top grade is that the rest of the unit was even worse. The young quarterback did not have a good season, but he played hard for 15 games through some treacherous circumstances.

Biggest Strength: Youth

Quite frankly, there is little strength to the quarterback unit. All three quarterbacks are not starting caliber quarterbacks at this point of their career. But, the strength of the unit is their youth. Kevin Hogan is the oldest signal caller on the roster, but he is only 25 years old. Cody Kessler is 24 years old, while Kizer is just 22 years old. With the youth comes more upside for improvement down the road. The players are still forming their game and are yet finished products.

Biggest Need: Franchise Starting Quarterback 

The Browns need to find their franchise starting quarterback. I believe the roster currently does not hold the answer to this need. So, the Browns must use No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to draft their franchise quarterback. There is no more punting on this situation. The Browns are in a position to pick the best quarterback of the draft with no competition from any other NFL team. This is biggest need on the team and is priority No. 1 for the Browns this offseason. John Dorsey was brought in to fill this need and find their franchise starting quarterback. 

Overall Thought

The Cleveland Browns quarterback position was a disaster in 2017. The position held back the entire offense, along with the coaching. It was the worst performing unit on the entire roster. Change is needed.

The incumbent, Cody Kessler, began the disaster by putting together a preseason to forget. He had the inside lane to win the starting job, but he punted that opportunity away with very poor play. In the snippets he played during the season, he looked like a broken quarterback, who was just not fit to be a starting quarterback and even a backup quarterback in the NFL.

DeShone Kizer was who most people saw he was in college. He had the big arm with the ability to make throws that dazzled. But, he was also inconsistent in his accuracy and at times made some head scratching decisions that make you question how well he sees the field. His season looked like many rookie quarterbacks season’s look. But, the problem was that he continually struggled on the same things throughout the whole season, showing no improvement and even some regression. I just do not believe that he is the future of the Browns quarterback position.

Kevin Hogan had his one start this season and showed who he was, not a starting quarterback. He is an athletic quarterback, but his passing is just not good enough.

Going into next season, I only see Kizer making it to training camp. I think Kessler’s horrible 2017 has doomed his future with the Browns and Hogan is just not good enough to keep on the roster. The Browns will most likely bring in two new quarterbacks this offseason. I would like to see a veteran quarterback signed or traded for and than use the No. 1 pick to get their franchise quarterback. This position is the one to watch going into the important 2018 offseason.

Bold Prediction

The Browns will have three quarterbacks on their roster for the 2018 season. Alex Smith, Josh Rosen and DeShone Kizer will make up the quarterback depth chart for next season.

  • tigersbrowns2

    the QB group was the worst position group on the squad … and of course , QB is the most important position on the team … final grade :

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi JOE … i like your bold prediction for next year (A.Smith , Kizer & Rosen) … mine will be A.Smith , Kizer & Darnold.

    I’m not messing with cry-baby Rosen … why take a chance on a guy that doesn’t want to be here ? Either way , you would think that your scenario or mine would FINALLY address the QB situation once & for all , right ?

  • tigersbrowns2
  • BenRM

    I wonder if Kizer will ever “get it.” I have no interest in Hogan or Kessler, but Kizer has some potential. With how awful Hue’s coaching was, I wonder what was the bigger problem: Kizer or Hue.

    It’s probably Kizer, but Hue was that bad that I can’t be sure.

  • MartyDaVille

    Mr. Kizer . . . D plus. Congratulations, Kizer, you’re at the top of the Delta pledge class.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi BEN … as much as I like Kizer , it was on him … the turnovers , especially in the red zone , just not smart quarterbacking.

    i have some hope for him though as Goff didn’t win a game his rookie season (0-7) & he threw more int’s than td’s as well. he’s also a hard worker & i think he’ll improve.

  • Harv

    It’s true, we made you present findings with the masters program grad students despite admitting you after your junior year in high school and without permitting you to take undergraduate core courses. But you either got it or you don’t. Trust me.

  • MartyDaVille

    You’re an easy grader, teeb.

  • Mr. Clandestine
  • tsm

    If we trade for Smith, we better not give up any of our first 2 rounds of picks. There are other free agent options that would not cost us any draft picks – Keenum, Bradford, and a number of others who could be the bridge QB. I have not completely given up on Kizer due to the situation he was put in as well as his youth and obvious physical gifts. Darnold is my guy with #1. NFL size.

  • scripty

    KC has the least cap space in the NFL. I see them cutting Smith not trading him.

  • tsm

    Thanks for that. In that event, let’s grab him. Quality player and good role model. He could start for a year or two.

  • scripty

    I saw the stat they had the least available cap room heading into 2018 with 5 million available. So this is why I think that. Now, a trade would get us him but at what cost?

    I’ve read that he might settle for Chase Daniels as the veteran QB as an option to be the veteran presence but still run with #1 pick and Kizer for playing time.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi SCRIPTY … any QB who watched & learned from Tom Brady or Drew Brees , or has been coached by Belichick or Payton , should be welcomed with open arms. Considering Daniels played behind A.Smith & Brees speaks volumes to me.

  • JM85

    You mean we have to relive that awful season? Yay!

  • Skulb

    So you’re saying that the QB situation isn’t quite optimal just yet. Damn, that’s a bummer.

  • Natedawg86

    I wouldn’t be pissed if that trade was the last pick in the second (philly)

  • Natedawg86

    If that QB Play was a D, I would hate to see what an F looks like

  • Skulb

    Nate Peterman against the Chargers is an F. Or me suiting up and playing QB. That would be an F as well, and I feel confident a highly amusing F at that. There is actually a considerable gap between that and the worst moments of Kizer.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi SKULB … who’s the guy in the pic ? I know you talk about the ‘Skins a lot as well … could it be ??

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  • Skulb

    No no. I’m just being self effacing. Not even I look like that.

  • tigersbrowns2

    maybe i just assumed you are a man … maybe you could be one of these gals from the fairer sex …

  • tigersbrowns2
  • tigersbrowns2
  • Skulb

    In 1996 maybe. Somehow not working out at all since then turns out to have been a mistake. Who knew?

  • Recondite Red

    Joe Gilbert, you’re an idiot! Firstly, how can you give DeShone Kizer a D+? He was making the same mistakes at the end of the season that he was in the beginning. That shows that he made NO improvement as the season went on. If I were feeling generous, then I would give him D-. Next, both Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler really didn’t play enough that they should even be graded. However, given Hogan’s one start where he threw 3 picks, I’d give him an F. As for Cody Kessler, in the few opportunities that he had, he almost beat Tennessee. After DeShone Kizer tapped out, the team responded to Cody Kessler. That is enough for me to give him the highest grade on the roster. Cody Kessler almost won a game with an incredibly limited sample. DeShone Kizer had 15 starts and really only did that once or twice the entire season! To further my point, only a moron would put Alex Smith on the Browns next year. After all, I think that Alex Smith has more pride than to accept a trade to a winless team to be a place holder. Also, the Chiefs, as an organization, have more class than to trade Alex Smith to this clown show. They, like the Patriots with Jimmy G., will trade him to a situation where he can succeed; where he can compete, win, and be the starter for the next few seasons. Therefore, I honestly believe that there is little to no chance that Alex Smith will be here. Next, didn’t you hear that Josh Rosen has no interest whatsoever in playing here? Hue Jackson can try to “recruit” him all he wants to, but honestly, Josh Rosen is probably smart enough to know that Hue Jackson won’t be in Cleveland in 2019 or at the very least, he shouldn’t be here in 2019. Either way, I can’t imagine him buying the truckload of BS that crooked Jimmy and Hue will have to deliver him. The Browns may choose Josh Rosen, but trust me, he won’t play one down of football in Cleveland.

  • Anson Lytle

    Not saying it’s a fair comparison, but Peyton Manning threw three interceptions with a 58.6 passer rating his first start. Writing off a QB after 1 bad start is a bit silly. Kessler and Hogan haven’t really had much of a chance. But, with poor pass protection and a young, inexperienced roster, I can’t image what Browns fans expected.