Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer may be a “better bet” to win the starting QB job than second-year player Cody Kessler according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Kessler entered training camp as the nominal No.1 quarterback for the Browns over both the rookie and free agent bust Brock Osweiler but that designation was due mainly to Kessler’s familiarity with the offense, having played in head coach Hue Jackson’s system in 2016. But Cleveland beat reporters have been banging the drum for Kizer ever since minicamp, reporting how impressive the rookie had looked and how he had significantly narrowed the gap between him and Kessler.
It is a far cry from the beating Kizer’s stock took leading up to the draft this May. Long believed to have perhaps the best raw talent of the entire QB draft class, there were whispers about arrogance and immaturity once Kizer declared for the draft after his junior year at Notre Dame with even ND head coach Brian Kelly saying that he was not ready for the NFL. Kizer slid from a surefire first-round pick all the way until the middle of the second round, when the Browns selected him at No.52. Since then Kizer has made noticeable strides in both accuracy and touch while flashing improved mechanics and earning the praise of the coaching staff.
Ulrich stresses that the quarterback competition in Cleveland remains wide open with Kessler, Kizer, and even Osweiler viewed as “legitimate candidates”. With a vastly improved offensive line and a solid if unspectacular group of offensive skill players entering the 2017 season, the Browns could be a pleasant surprise-if they get the QB situation sorted out.