Saskatoon StarPhoenix

TAKING ANOTHER SHOT

Browns hope Kizer is answer at QB

- JOHN KRYK JoKryk@postmedia.com Twitter: @JohnKryk

Well, the Cleveland Browns finally selected a quarterbac­k on Friday night: DeShone Kizer from the University of Notre Dame.

With the 52nd overall pick in Round 2 of the NFL Draft, the Browns added Kizer to an impressive collection of firstround picks from Thursday night: No. 1 overall selection Myles Garrett (a defensive end from Texas A&M), No. 25 Jabrill Peppers (a multi-use safety from Michigan) and No. 29 David Njoku (a tight end from MiamiFlori­da).

Kizer was the fourth quarterbac­k taken in this draft and the first on Day 2, after Mitchell Trubisky (Chicago at No. 2 overall), Patrick Mahomes II (Kansas City at No. 10) and Deshaun Watson (Houston at No. 12) were snagged on Thursday. Cleveland passed on all three, a substantia­l surprise. Kizer was one of the last invitees to Philadelph­ia to be selected.

“It’s definitely a different experience,” he said. “Obviously, being in Philly yesterday was a unique experience. I had a great time. To sit there and wait and try to figure out where you are going to land is definitely new to me. Obviously, the wait was well worth it now that I’m going to be able to stay at home and call myself a Cleveland Brown.”

But was a he fan of the Browns while growing up just 190 km west, along the southern shore of Lake Erie? Nope. But his “whole family” is.

Whether Kizer can be the long-term answer at quarterbac­k that the Cleveland franchise so desperatel­y seeks and requires — after so many failed draft picks and free-agent pickups this century — is up for debate.

The six-foot-four, 233-pound Kizer was seen before the draft as perhaps the possessor of more promise than any other thrower in this class. But although he has a strong arm and other impressive physical skills, the native of Toledo, Ohio, often unravelled at deciding moments in big games for the Fighting Irish. The Browns must think that’s fixable.

“I think (my) accuracy and consistenc­y are two good questions that have been asked quite a bit in the past couple of months going into the draft,” said Kizer, who completed 58.7 per cent of his passes at Notre Dame last season.

Kizer surely will be given every opportunit­y in spring practice and summer training camp to win the Browns’ starting QB job. His competitio­n so far is just second-year Cody Kessler, an average-armed try-hard guy who proved he’s not the long-term solution, and Houston Texans discard Brock Osweiler.

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 ?? GETTY IMAGES/FILES ?? The Browns used their second-round pick in the NFL draft to select Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, who they hope will eventually solve their long search for a dependable starting quarterbac­k.
GETTY IMAGES/FILES The Browns used their second-round pick in the NFL draft to select Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, who they hope will eventually solve their long search for a dependable starting quarterbac­k.
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