Things in Notre Dame were ugly last year. After a dismal season that proved only that Brian Kelly will never be fired, the fallout was likely the determining factor in quarterback DeShone Kizer opting to make himself draft eligible.
Despite many seeing Kizer as a raw talent, rich in physical abilities but lacking the necessary experience and polish to succeed as an NFL quarterback right away, he is still projected as a borderline first-round pick.
According to Kizer’s former coach, though, he would have been well advised to stick around for another season.
Kelly shared his thoughts on Sirius XM Radio, and many are surprised by his comments.
“He’s got to be able to have that attention to detail and that focus. He’s got to be smart. He’s got to have the ability to grind and a great attitude. He’s got those traits, but they’ve got to be continuously worked on,” Kelly said. “Whoever takes DeShone, he’s not a finished product in those areas. But when he does get more time to work on those traits, you’re got to have a great young man and a great quarterback. The skills are out there. You can see them. You just go to his workout and you can see that he’s got those skills. He’s just not complete yet.”
Many GM’s are entering this draft operating on the notion that none of the quarterbacks available for selection are ready to start right away. Kizer, who might slip into the first round anyway, appears to be in the same boat.
Kelly’s comments created something of a stir due to the tenuous relationship between the player and coach at times last season. Notably, following the loss to Duke, Kelly announced that the quarterback position was “open for competition”, after having grown frustrated with the quarterback inconsistency.
Possessing electrifying speed and above-average arm strength, Kizer will benefit from the high premium placed on players of his position. He might be taken higher than a draft that was going in order of “best on the board”, but that is only the beginning. Questions surfaced about his commitment and his attitude while playing at Notre Dame.
If those questions linger into his NFL career, he’ll be wrapping up his career before it gets off the ground.
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