Packers Rumors: Could Green Bay Draft Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer at #33?
The Packers made our draft night wait a little bit longer Thursday when they traded out of the first round, dropping from the 29th pick to the 33rd pick and picking up the 108th overall selection from Cleveland for their trouble.
Conventional wisdom suggests the Packers board was full of potential prospects at 29, so they thought dropping to 33rd wouldn’t result in too many of those prospects becoming unavailable.
However, Ted Thompson added some new intrigue shortly after the end of the first round when he essentially announced the Packers are open for business with the 33rd pick, inviting any and all suitors to make an offer.
That alone would be interesting enough, but near midday today, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport suggested that the Packers would be interested in staying at the 33rd pick… and using it to select a quarterback.
Is it a serious suggestion or a smokescreen? Let’s take a look.
Who is DeShone Kizer?
At 6-4 and 233 pounds, DeShone Kizer is a big, imposing quarterback. He started at Notre Dame for each of the past two seasons, putting up good but not eye-popping stats through his two years as a starter.
Kizer is considered a solid dual threat quarterback, posting a 4.83 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He rushed for 997 yards and 18 touchdowns while at Notre Dame.
Though he has great physical attributes, scouts knocked Kizer for a simplistic offense at Notre Dame, a low completion percentage, and generally sloppy pocket mechanics.
Although this is thought to be a weak quarterback class, Kizer is generally thought to be in the second tier group, behind class leaders Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson.
Why drafting Kizer makes sense
There are two schools of thought related to drafting Kizer, the first being that the Packers are actually interested in making Kizer their first selection in the 2017 draft.
Kizer seems to have a lot of upside, and some analysts do think he could be an elite player.
It’s possible the Packers aren’t thrilled with Brett Hundley as their top backup, or that they have a trading partner in mind for their current second string quarterback.
If the Packers think they can get a good return for Hundley and that Kizer could be as good or better than Hundley as a backup for Aaron Rodgers, taking Kizer would make sense.
The second school of thought is that the Packers are employing a bit of a smokescreen, essentially telling quarterback hungry teams that they’d better pick up the phone or the best remaining signal caller is going to come off the board.
It’s hard to say how effective that tactic is until the Packers are actually on the clock. Other teams would have to truly believe that the Packers would actually take Kizer for it to work. But if the Packers were truly interested in a trade, it wouldn’t hurt to create a little urgency, however fabricated it may be.
Why drafting Kizer is crazy
When we covered the quarterback position in our draft prediction series, we wrote off the idea of selecting a signal caller high:
When it comes to quarterbacks in this year's draft, it's important to remember two things:
1. The Packers are probably not going to draft a quarterback
2. The Packers are going to evaluate all the quarterbacks anyway
No NFL team can afford to not evaluate a particular position, even if it's not one that seems like a pressing need. This is an important information gathering time, both in terms of future team planning and in terms of scouting potential future opponents.
When Aaron Rodgers was selected by the Packers in 2005, Brett Favre played three more seasons before he retired the first time and then unretired.
Does Green Bay feel that the clock is that close to running out on Aaron Rodgers’ career? If they do, it wouldn’t hurt one bit to take a raw passer like Kizer and mold him while the team is still set with its starter.
If Kizer could reach his reportedly very high ceiling, it would be a worthwhile investment and probably the steal of the draft. But then again, that all depends on timing with Aaron Rodgers.