DeShone Kizer "character questions" at Senior Bowl: Start of Smokescreen Season?

By Jason McIntyre

The Senior Bowl is happening this week in Mobile, Alabama, and because there aren’t many star players down there – Deshaun Watson wisely passed – the juiciest item comes about a quarterback who isn’t there: Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer.

Via Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst:

"Since the NFLPA game, I’ve been told scouts have cooled on Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. The combination of poor progression and questionable film from 2016 as well as character questions has raised red flags."

Senior Bowl week is a week of boozy fun for the media, and since it’s a small town – unlike Indianapolis, where the Combine held – the NFL people in attendance are far more visible and speak fairly openly.

But the Kizer note is puzzling. Among the three QBs, you’ve got baby bear (Mitch Trubisky of UNC who only started for one season), big brother bear (Kizer, who started for nearly two seasons) and daddy bear (Watson, who started for 2+ seasons). All three could go in the Top 10. Perhaps in the Top 5, but most likely all in the Top 20.

The “poor progression” item can be shot down. Yes, his numbers were not as good as when he blew up in 2015. He also was throwing to a first round receiver (Will Fuller) and lost two offensive lineman to the draft (Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin).

The same words will be brought up with Watson: He threw 17 interceptions this year. The hot take artists are going to highlight Watson’s 30 interceptions combined the last two years, but they leave out a key fact:

For fun, here’s the total passes thrown in their final two years:
DeShaun Watson: 1,070 attempts, 30 interceptions
Peyton Manning: 857 attempts, 23 interceptions
Eli Manning: 922 attempts, 25 interceptions
Aaron Rodgers: 665 attempts, 13 interceptions
Jameis Winston: 851 attempts, 28 interceptions

The “character concerns” note is interesting because (so far), there’s nothing publicly in his background that says red flag. Elite three-sport athlete in high school. Comes from a good family. No arrests.

Unless of course teams really like Kizer and are planting negative stories in hopes of scaring off other teams.

A 6-foot-5, 220-pound QB who didn’t focus on the position throughout high school, but did extremely well when thrust into a starting role in 2015? Where do I sign up? The Jets would be fools to pass on him.