Watch out for Brock
While it is way too early to even think about it, conversation regarding the possibility of DeShone Kizer becoming the Browns’ starting quarterback lingers in the wake of the college draft.
Which, when you think about it, is not terribly out of whack. After all, Kizer’s foes in the battle to start are Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. Not exactly a who’s who of wonderful quarterbacks about whom to get excited.
Osweiler has become a National Football League vagabond at the ripe young age of 26; Kessler hung up an O-fer in eight games, was tossed around like a rag doll in his rookie season last year and has already booked one concussion; and Hogan most likely will wind up either cut or shipped to the practice squad.
Kessler, it is being written and discussed, will be crowned the starter entering training camp this summer. And why not? He’s that much more familiar and comfortable with coach Hue Jackson’s offense.
The question, then, is how long will he be able to hang on to the job with Osweiler and, yes, Kizer lurking? If he is still with the club, Osweiler will be given a shot at starting, something he did in Denver two years ago and last year in Houston.
He is by far the most experienced starting quarterback with professional experience on the roster. So it stands to reason Jackson will want to take a long look at his 6-7 quarterback before making a command decision on whom he wants to kick off the 2017 season.
Kizer, meanwhile, is the wild card. And while he doesn’t possess the requisite talent – at least not yet – to step right in and take over an NFL offense, anything is possible. After all, if a Russell Wilson or Dak Prescott can do it as rookies and perform like veterans, why not Kizer?
No, I’m not making a case for Kizer to start. Fact is he is not nearly ready to pull off a Wilson or Prescott.
So unless the Browns between now and training camp sign a veteran free-agent quarterback now on the street to come in and challenge for a job, Osweiler has to be considered the frontrunner to open the season as the starter against Pittsburgh in September.
If that turns out to be the case, it would drip with irony that a player the Browns took off Houston’s hands in order to obtain a future second-round draft pick and was a pawn in the deal and heavily rumored to be gone shortly after it was made is the starting quarterback.
After all, Osweiler is 13-8 as a starter with 26 touchdown passes and a 60% completion rate. And then you take a look at the 22 interceptions (15 last season) and red flags shoot up.
And that is why Kizer’s name, still fresh in the memory of Browns fans, is linked to the Cleveland starting job. Osweiler right now is a relative afterthought.
He shouldn’t be. Not yet.
He shouldn’t be. Not yet.