The Cleveland Browns' quarterback competition is over. Browns coach Hue Jackson announced on Sunday that rookie second-round pick DeShone Kizer has beaten out Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler to earn the team's starting gig.
OFFICIAL.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 27, 2017
DeShone Kizer is QB1. pic.twitter.com/JOibbrF7im
Head Coach Hue Jackson on a media conference call right now says QB Deshone Kizer has the "the right feel and temperament." #Browns— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) August 27, 2017
Hue Jackson on @Browns' new starting QB DeShone Kizer: "He's still a young QB, but w/ a lot of talent... This is not just for the moment."— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 27, 2017
#Browns HC Hue Jackson said he's committed to ride out rookie struggles with Kizer, he's not being named starter just for short term— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 27, 2017
Through three preseason contests, here are the numbers for all three QBs:
Kizer had the best individual game performance of any of the three, completing 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards and a score against the Saints in the preseason opener. His play dipped in the second and third contests, culminating in a stat line of 6 of 18 for 93 yards and a pick game against the Bucs on Saturday night, but he proved throughout the preseason that he has the most talent and highest upside among the group. He's clearly won over coach Hue Jackson as well.
"I feel comfortable with him," Jackson said after the third preseason game. "He has the right feel for me and for what I'm looking for.''
Despite Kizer's poor performance in the dress rehearsal game, Jackson saw enough from the rookie to feel pretty good about what he can provide going forward. He made sure to note that Kizer's numbers were impacted by a drop from Kenny Britt at the 5-yard line and a fumble from Duke Johnson at the 10-yard line.
"No doubt. It would be a whole different game for him," Jackson said. "That's why I feel good about the things that he accomplished tonight. I thought he came well prepared to play. Again, that was his first opportunity out there with those guys truly from start until we said, 'OK enough with the ones and I thought he showed well.' I thought he did some good things and we can build on some things as we move forward."
The Browns wrap up their preseason schedule this coming Thursday before opening the regular season against the Steelers on September 10. We don't know if Kizer will be under center for the warm-up finale, but it sure seems like we can expect him there for Week 1.