DeShone Kizer could go from taking snaps for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, to being groomed to have the same job with the Chicago Bears. That is one of the NFL draft rumors circulating these days. It is an NFL rumor worth giving a little credence to, given the fact that the Chicago Bears need a young quarterback to groom for decades. Whether or not DeShone Kizer is the right passer for the Chicago Bears’ job remains to be seen.
DeShone Kizer receiving interest from the Bears is not surprising. And Kizer having played his college ball at nearby Notre Dame, he appears to be a logical option for the Bears to ponder.
With all of the NFL rumors regarding the Chicago Bears’ interest in Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, the pick could be Kizer once the smoke clears. The good news is that the Bears seem to have done their due diligence on the Notre Dame prospect.
The Chicago Bears scouts and coaching staff had already worked Kizer out at his Notre Dame pro-day in an effort to get a good look at him. That came after meeting with the Notre Dame quarterback prospect at the NFL scouting combine. Now comes news that the Chicago Bears were able to do some extra credit on DeShone Kizer.
The NFL has implemented a rule which allows each team to host a local pro-day. Local pro-days consists of players from three colleges in the vicinity of each NFL team being able to workout and audition for the draft. There is normally a limit of 30 players whom NFL teams can invite, but with the local pro-day rule, any player from the three designated schools would not count towards the threshold.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears were able to get another extensive look at DeShone Kizer because of the local pro-day rule. The additional workout will prove to be a great benefit for the Bears as the NFL draft approaches.
If the Chicago Bears, who have the No. 3 pick in draft were to take a flier on DeShone Kizer it will likely be in the second round, or after a draft day trade. It is increasingly clear that Kizer is going to be a first-round selection, barring something short of a dramatic drop in stock. Drafting him would force the Bears to be creative on the first night of the draft.
Kizer is considered to have all of the tools to be a successful NFL quarterback, but there are some serious questions surrounding him. Overall maturity is the biggest question mark. Look no further than Kizer’s former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, when it comes to those wondering of the 21-year-old passer is ready for the NFL.
Kelly seemed besmirched when discussing Kizer’s readiness (courtesy of NFL.com) for the league at Notre Dame’s pro-day. The Fighting Irish head coach was fairly blunt about DeShone Kizer and his ability to play next season.
“Well, he still should be in college. The circumstances are such that you have to make business decisions and he felt like it was in his best interest. I’m going to support him and his decision. But the reality of it is he needs more football, he needs more time to grow in so many areas. Not just on the field, but off the field.”
Brian Kelly only sees as needing more development with and without an playbook. His assessment may be accurate, as NFL teams have had a recent tendency to thrust a young quarterback into action before they are ready.
Kizer has some maturing to do. A team can look at his measurables, his throwing arm, and ability to elude tacklers, with justification that he is ready for the NFL game. What his former Notre Dame coach is suggesting is that Kizer gains wisdom. It would help him going forward regardless which team drafts him. The Chicago Bears appear to have a professional situation which could help Kizer be successful.
Of the NFL teams who are in the hunt for a developmental quarterback, the Bears can afford to let Kizer sit and learn for a year or two. It is unlikely that the Bears would take him at No. 3, because they have additional needs and they are two players at his position that is capable of playing immediately. In order to select DeShone Kizer the Bears could trade down for more picks, or sneak back into the first round using their early second round pick as bait.
It would be wise for the Chicago Bears to go after a QB prospect in the first round. First round draft picks have five-year contracts, versus four years. With Mike Glennon in the fold as the designated starter, whoever the Bears draft will sit at least a season. That makes DeShone Kizer a sensible option in Chicago.
If the Bears drafted Kizer it would turn into a situation where Glennon would start for a year or two as the Notre Dame product sat and learned. The Bears could then turn to him in the third season, with three years to evaluate him, versus two. In that time Kizer could prove to be the franchise quarterback the Bears have long sought after.
This strategy was the normal practice in the NFL with rookie quarterbacks watching the game from the sidelines. Now they are rushed into action well before they have a complete grasp of the offense.
Taking Kizer would be a risk for the Bears. The onus is on the Bears coaching staff to have steady improvement. That should be determined in one of two ways.
Winning three games next season is unacceptable for the Bears’ front office unless there is some noticeable growth with the younger players. No one, not even Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace will tell anyone that the plan is for the Bears to win the NFC North. Being competitive and winning six or seven games is ideal.
With that pressure for the Bears’ coaches to win, Pace may oblige and draft a defensive player to fit right in. But the clear need of the Bears’ franchise is to find and develop a quarterback. Getting one at No. 3 would surprise some, although it is not out of the question that they could take a risk.
NFL draft rumors are swirling with the Chicago Bears taking a long look at Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer. Kizer needs at least a year before he is ready. The Bears have a quarterback situation that would allow him to watch and learn.
[Featured Image by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]