SOUTH BEND (AP) — Former Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer is more interested in landing in the right situation than being taken high in the NFL draft.
“The number means absolutely nothing. I just want to be put into the right position that’s going to allow me to win,” Kizer said Thursday after working out for NFL personnel during Notre Dame’s pro day.
Kizer said he knows it is better for him financially to be drafted as early as possible, but said he is more interested in going somewhere he can contribute quickly.
There is a lot of speculation heading into the draft about whether Kizer, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky will be the first quarterback selected. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly made his pitch Wednesday on why Kizer is the best pick.
“My personal feeling is he has the biggest upside of all the quarterbacks,” Kelly said. “I don’t know that he’s prepared to come in and win a Super Bowl for you. Some may feel as though one of the other quarterbacks are. I don’t know that firsthand. But I think in time, he has the biggest upside in all three quarterbacks.”
The Toledo, Ohio, native showed off his arm during his workout, completing 48 of 60 passes. Six of the incomplete passes were dropped, while most of the others were overthrown and receiver Corey Robinson needed to make a diving catch on one throw. Kizer said he focused on trying to throw better to his left than he had at the NFL combine and on finding the best footwork for him, not the footwork his college coaches wanted him to use.
“I want to make sure I know who I am,” he said. “Where am I most comfortable? Where am I most accurate? Identify where that is and perfect it so when I get there I know exactly what I want to do and be as accurate as I possibly can.”
The biggest criticism of Kizer has been his inconsistency, especially late in games this past season when the Irish finished 4-8. Kizer completed 58.7 percent of his passes in 2016 for 2,925 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions Overall, Kizer was 12-11 as a starter, and said he has told NFL teams that he was to blame for Notre Dame’s struggles last season.
“If you are going to win more than four games then the quarterback is going to have to make some plays. I just didn’t make those plays last year,” he said.
Representatives from 27 NFL teams were at the pro day, including San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch.
“I look forward to seeing what they do with the No. 2 spot,” Kizer said.
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