DeShone Kizer Remains a Cautionary Tale of Self-Hype

DeShone Kizer of the Oakland Raiders
DeShone Kizer of the Oakland Raiders / Tim Warner/Getty Images

DeShone Kizer was waived by the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, just three years after comparing himself to a combination of Tom Brady and Cam Newton in an interview.

In an article written by Tom Pelissero during the lead up to the 2017 NFL Draft, Kizer was incredibly self-reverential, declaring he could be the greatest to ever play the position. That prediction is not working out well for him.

Some of the quotes from that article are cringeworthy. Here's Kizer talking about all the wonderful traits he possesses:

"“Name a college quarterback who goes into the game-plan meetings on Monday and throws his notes at the coaches. No one else game plans the way I do. No one else prepares the way I do. No one else knows football the way I do. No one else is as big as I am. No one else is as powerful a runner as I am. Pat Mahomes might throw the ball 80 yards and I can only throw the ball 72, but I guarantee he can’t throw an out route the way I can.""

And here is the famous quote where he compared himself to Brady and Newton:

"“No one else can do what I can do. And I’ve truly figured out in this (draft) process, if I can maximize all my potential in every aspect of the game – this is bold – I do have the ability to be the greatest quarterback to ever play. Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body. ""


After leading Notre Dame through a dismal 4-8 season, Kizer left Notre Dame after his redshirt sophomore year to enter the draft. He was clearly hoping someone would bank on his physical upside while ignoring the bad tape he racked up as a passer. The Cleveland Browns obliged, selecting him with the 52nd overall pick.

He started 15 games as a rookie and was terrible, throwing 11 touchdown passes against 22 interceptions, completing just 53.6 percent of his passes, and posting a passer rating of 60.5. He lasted one season in Cleveland and was traded to the Green Bay Packers on March 14, 2018. He got playing time in three games in Green Bay and was, again, terrible. The Packers cut him before the 2019 season.

The Raiders picked Kizer up off waivers on September 1, 2019 and released him eight months later. He never entered a game during his time in Oakland.

Kizer remains a cautionary tale for young athletes. It's one thing to be confident in your abilities, but the transition from amateur to professional should be a humbling experience. Franchises want their young players to understand they will be starting from the bottom. Kizer came across as if he had football figured out. It was a huge turnoff to anyone who paid attention.