I am officially off the DeShone Kizer bandwagon. Thanks to showing a lost deer-in-the-headlights type of unreadiness in tossing a league-leading 14 interceptions, it is time for the Cleveland Browns to pull the trigger on UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen.
Yes, I was the same guy who called Kizer the future, and that he was the perfect QB to play in the AFC North, and that he may be the Browns future franchise quarterback. However, ten games into a season, and Kizer looks like he does indeed need another year back at Notre Dame—as his former head coach Brian Kelly stated—and that Cleveland needs to man up and grow some cojones and take a real potential franchise quarterback in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.
Some may try to blame the loss of left tackle Joe Thomas, or the line not giving him time to throw, but in watching every Browns game this season, there is NO debating that Kizer holds on to the ball for far too long, takes unnecessary sacks, double-pats the ball, sails it either too high or too low, telegraphs his throws and in all honestly lacks the mental aspect of being an NFL signal-caller.
Call me harsh, a hater or whatever, but the bottom line is that just when you think that he flashes that big arm and might be on the cusp of stringing together a couple of good plays, he either throws a WTF-type of interception that makes you scream various expletives or hurl inanimate objects at your innocent 4K UHD telelvsion.
Not to say that Kizer hasn’t flashed some of his second-round potential during what has been a rocky rookie campaign, but after passing on the likes of NFL MVP candidate Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Dak Prescott—and even Ben Roethlisberger back in 2004—and constantly being reminded of it—it is time for the Browns to swallow their pride, admit they they made ANOTHER draft day mistake and pull the trigger on a real QB in April.
In what is considered one of either the best QB classes—or perhaps one of the most mediocre—Cleveland has a chance to draft a real bona-fide franchise-level quarterback such as UCLA’s Josh Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Washington State’s Luke Falk, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson or Heisman Trophy frontrunner Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma.
Each of the above quarterbacks have a little something that they could bring to Cleveland.
However, after watching his impressive 32-of-52, 421-yard, three touchdown effort in a 28-23 loss to Darnold, in front of a reported 20 NFL teams and personnel in attendance, Rosen showed all the makings of being the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and the guy that the Browns need to take.
At 6’4, 210, some will say that Rosen is a little stringy and thin to take the beatings the likes of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore would inflict on him, but in watching him practically shredded an otherwise helpless Trojan secondary at will, Rosen made deep, short and quick throws that Kizer—albeit in the NFL—couldn’t make in his sleep.
What I saw in Rosen was a quarterback who was quick and decisive in making decisions and getting the ball out, make strong, crisp and accurate throws to all three levels of the field, while showing some real pocket presence.
In what some scouts have said about Rosen being the top projected overall pick is that he has quality touch on deep throws, accuracy in short and intermediate throws and enough mobilty and arm strength to succeed at the next level.
Something that Kizer is not.
While I’m not holding out any real hope of the Harvard Geek Squad being amongst the 67,000 who saw Rosen’s brilliant duel vs Darnold, hopefully if the rumors are true and that they are likely to go back to the QB drawing board again, that Rosen is the likely starting point.