Hey, Cleveland. Is anyone else feeling great joy and anticipation following our acquisition of Odell Beckham Junior? While Beckham changes the draft landscape, I cannot imagine that anyone is disappointed to see the picks go to the Giants. The NFL Combine and its film clips are on the back burner for now. Even though I make no secret about how much I love the draft, I feel none of my usual hope mixed with fear. It seems, for now, OBJ has put “the Ghost of NFL Drafts Past” to rest.
What does this have to do with the Top Dawg Tuesday throwback, you ask? Plenty, when you realize we are revisiting former Browns’ quarterback DeShone Kizer’s Top Dawg selection from Week 12, 2017.
If you think back, you may recall that Kizer was Cleveland’s second-round quarterback, coming to us at number 52. At that time, there was division among Browns fans as to whether Myles Garrett deserved the number one spot or if one of the draft class’ young quarterbacks, like Mentor native Mitchell Trubisky, deserved the nod. To the chagrin of the “choose a quarterback first” club, Garrett became Cleveland’s number one pick. This choice led us to select Kizer as our hopeful franchise quarterback.
During Week 12 (2017) against the Cincinnati Bengals, Kizer put a spark of hope in my cold, nearly dead heart when he played an interception-free game and put-up respectable numbers, albeit in a losing effort. He went 18 of 31, and he logged 286 passing yards. In a season where I celebrated extra fresh popcorn, zero INT’s and close to 300 passing yards looked damn good.
I believe the kid tried to live up to the shine from Notre Dame’s Golden Dome. There were some instances where he looked good. Unfortunately, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time to become the next Joe Montana. Eventually, we sent him packing to Green Bay, where he backs up Aaron Rodgers.
While the hopes we had for Kizer were never realized, his mentor in Green Bay can teach him a lot, if he wants to learn.