Mike McCarthy said he believes DeShone Kizer would’ve been a first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and here’s why he’s right.
The Cleveland Browns gave up on the DeShone Kizer era earlier in the offseason, trading last year’s second round pick out of Notre Dame to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers don’t have an immediate need at the position with Aaron Rodgers still in his prime. But Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is a big believer in Kizer’s talent and thinks he would have been a first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
“In my opinion, if he was in that class this year, he would have been part of the first five quarterbacks, the first-round guys, McCarthy tells Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. He has exceptional arm talent.”
McCarthy is probably right in that regard. With one more year at Notre Dame to polish his skills and refine his overall body of work, he would’ve been in the conversation along with the likes of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson as first round prospects.
Let’s take a look at the end of the statement where McCarthy said Kizer has “exceptional arm talent.” He didn’t really get to put that on display with the Browns, but he has the arm to make big throws. Arm strength is the reason Josh Allen went No. 7 overall to the Bills.
Size wouldn’t have been an issue either. At 6’4″ and 233 pounds, Kizer is only one inch shorter and four pounds lighter than Allen and he’s shown he can move around the pocket and use his athleticism to make plays.
The last thing to look at is his accuracy. Yes, he proved to be inaccurate, but maybe one more year in South Bend would’ve helped. Additionally, Kizer had a higher completion percentage and a better touchdown to interception ratio than Allen, and he did it against better competition.
Allen was a top-four quarterback in this year’s draft, despite having a worse college career than Kizer. If Allen can be a top-10 pick, it’s not crazy to think Kizer would have been one too if he was in this year’s class. Does this say more about Kizer or the state of quarterback play in the league? It doesn’t really matter, but McCarthy’s stance is sure to draw some raised eyebrows.
Sure, it’s easy to look at his performance as a rookie on a winless Browns team and think McCarthy is crazy. The Packers wouldn’t have bought low on Kizer if McCarthy didn’t see his skills and think he could develop him into a backup to Rodgers and a potential fill-in should he have to miss any time.