DeShone Kizer wasn’t one of the three quarterbacks to be taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but he may be the first one to become a starter.
Kizer has been solid for the Browns through two preseason games, especially when compared to his competition, Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler, and Kevin Hogan.
This preseason he is 19-for-31 for 258 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He’s also rushed for 47 yards and a score on eight carries.
Earlier today, Kizer was named the starter for the Browns’ third preseason game, usually thought of as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. Osweiler started the team’s first two games.
When asked, head coach Hue Jackson admitted that unless things go remarkably poorly for the former Notre Dame star, he will start the regular season opener. From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Browns coach Hue Jackson named Kizer the starter for Saturday’s “dress rehearsal” on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and conceded the second-round draft pick from Notre Dame will start in Week 1, too, unless he suffers an injury or a complete collapse.
“That’s a pretty good statement,” Jackson said after Wednesday’s practice when asked if Kizer would need to completely flame out against the Bucs to lose the starting job heading into the regular season. “In my mind, this young man is going to go and play extremely well.”
Jackson would not outright name Kizer the starter, but admitted he is close to putting the competition between he and Osweiler “to bed.”
The Browns open the regular season on September 10 against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s no easy task for any quarterback, much less one in his first regular season start, but at least Browns fans have something to hold out hope for.