Brian Kelly thinks DeShone Kizer will be good, eventually

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Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly isn’t going to lie to his friends in the NFL. And even though it would have benefitted him for quarterback DeShone Kizer to stay in school, he still thinks his Kizer’s going to be a good pro.


Kelly appeared with Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier today, and was asked about Kizer’s prospects. When those thoughts were reduced to a tweet, it sounded rather abrupt.

But when allowed to go beyond 140 characters, he painted a more nuanced picture of his quarterback’s decision to leave early.

“I’ve got a lot of relationships built on trust with G.M.s and head coaches in the NFL,” Kelly said. “I’m going to be honest with them and honest with DeShone. There’s a lot of growth that has to take place. But I go back to what are the common threads a great player needs to have. He’s got to have traits of excellence. He’s got to be able to have attention to detail and that focus, he’s got to be smart and 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. 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 going to have a great young man and a great quarterback. The skills are out there, you can see them. You can go to the workout and see that he’s got those skills, he’s just not complete yet.

“If you want to draft him and say come on, turn it over to him, you’re going to have to support him with great leaders around him and great leadership. But if you’re going to give him time and get a mentor for him, you’re going to have a great guy. That’s my honesty when I talk to G.M.s and head coaches.”

Kelly raved about Kizer’s “tools” and said that of all the quarterbacks in this year’s draft “I think he’s got the best skill set of quarterbacks coming out.”

But it was also clear Kelly thinks he’s an unfinished product.

“He still should be in college,” the coach whose livelihood depends on unpaid interns said. “But the circumstances are such that you have to make business decisions. And he felt like it was in his best interest, and I’m going to support him in his decisions.

“But the reality is he needs more football. He needs more time to grow in so many areas, not just on the field but off the field. He’s a great kid, he’s got great character. Character, you don’t change character much. And he’s got great character so you’re not going to have an issue there with that young man.

“But he’s going to continue to learn, and he’ll learn with great coaches around him and a great mentor around him. There’s a huge amount of growth that will happen every single day with DeShone Kizer.”

So that’s a little less harsh, but it doesn’t change the fact that Kelly’s making it clear to people that Kizer’s not ready to be handed a starting job.

17 responses to “Brian Kelly thinks DeShone Kizer will be good, eventually

  1. Translation – Any GM who takes him sooner than mid-2nd round is a blooming idiot. He’s a two-year development project best case, longer than that if he lands in one of the less capable franchises around the league.

  2. He needs a coach to help him with making better decisions with the football, lots of turnovers. Hopefully, the team that takes him doesn’t throw him into the fire and takes the time to develop his skills.

  3. The NFL does not have or take time to develop a QB. Most of the starting QB’s come out of college and start sometime during their first year. The limited practice time allowed by Players Association. The vast majority of the “reps” go to the starting QB with the starting offense. The backup QB’s get “mental reps”……..that is why most backup QB’s look lost when they are forced on the field.

    The NFL Players Association limits off season contact with the coaching staff, so the play cannot work with the coaching staff on the finer points of the game like reading Defenses.

    So the bottom line is: if you are not drafted in he first round with great ability and experience from college, the NFL coaching staff likely does not have time to develop your skills.

    Pre-season play does not show much or driver much experience because the starters do not play and teams show nothing.

    The NFL needs some changes to help develop young QB’s ……………..

  4. Sounds like Kelly gave an honest and fair assessment. Also, seems like the tweet threw Kelly under the under the bus.

  5. Not a Kelly or ND fan, but at least he was honest, rather than a bunch of BS.
    I’m sure he cost Kizer a bunch of money with those statements. It would have been better if he had said only to GMs who were serious about drafting Kizer, rather than to the general public.

  6. Kelly was being honest? No one knows that. Kelly could just as easily be upset with Kizer leaving and is undermining him, just like Pete Carroll tried to do with Sanchez.

  7. The best thing the NFL could do would be to send coaching staff back to the college ranks to re-introduce NFL offenses at that level of competition.

    Jim Harbaugh at Michigan is bringing back pro-style quarterbacking to a major college program. Maybe more excellent pro-style qb coaches will join him.

  8. Don’t blame college coaches because NFL GMs and scouts can’t evaluate QBs. What next? Do they want the college coaches to fill out their scouting reports for them? If you study enough tape, you can see how good a guy is going to be at the next level. If you can’t do this, pass the baton. We have guys like Dak Prescott, Conner Cook, and Ryan Nassib going in the fourth round. All three are absolute studs. Only one has managed to get significant playing time. The others could be had for a song. Meanwhile, a guy like Kizor, who won’t make it at the next level, will be a first round pick. Then when Kizor turns out to be a bust, they’ll blame the system. Give me a break! Watch the tape, and believe what your eyes tell you. Plug your ears.

  9. I hope Arizona doesn’t draft Kizer, but if they do they shouldn’t draft him before 45!!! I personally want AZ to draft QB Patrick Mahomes (1A) or Cal’s QB Davis Webb (1B) , both fit Arians offense perfectly and I think will be studs at the NFL Level after a bit of development.

  10. props to 3rd & 43- no one could say it better than this….

    thirdand43 says:
    Apr 3, 2017 5:24 PM
    Kaiser does need great coaching. That’s why he’s getting the hell away from Brian Kelly.

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