The Cleveland Browns had three first-round picks this year. A second-round pick might end up being their most important pick.
DeShone Kizer, taken in the second round out of Notre Dame, will start the regular season at quarterback for the Browns. The team made it official on Sunday. It was no surprise, considering coach Hue Jackson gave Kizer the start in the third preseason game and said he was trending toward being the permanent starter. Kizer made some nice plays on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and even though he wasn’t perfect, it was obvious he was going to be officially named starter.
There’s a long way to go before the Browns feel like Kizer is the quarterback to lead them into the future. It’s possible Kizer really struggles in the preseason, loses the job and the Browns are looking at one of the top quarterback prospects early in next year’s draft. But it’s fun to imagine the possibilities with the big, athletic, strong-armed Kizer taking over at quarterback.
“He’s earned the right,” Jackson said Sunday in announcing Kizer as the starter, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It’s very exciting.”
Kizer is in a pretty good spot. The Browns can be patient with him, since there are no playoff expectations this season. Cleveland has a strong offensive line and a pretty good running back in Isaiah Crowell. Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt are two talented receivers for Kizer to throw to. The Browns are coming off a 1-15 season, but there are some signs of progress.
This is going to be a slow rebuild for the Browns, and the most important part is finding the right quarterback. The Browns can figure out over the next four months if Kizer is that quarterback.