NFL Draft season is in full force. Brian Kelly did not exactly give a ringing endorsement of former Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer, who left early for the NFL Draft.
It sounds like Kelly threw Kizer under the bus. That may not be the aptest description. Discussing Kizer a couple weeks ago, Kelly pointed out that Kizer needed time but thought he had the most upside in the NFL Draft.
— Jack Wascher (@JackABC57) March 22, 2017
Kelly’s assessment of Kizer seems reasonable and honest. Most coaches would have been more diplomatic (are we supposed to criticize him for actually answering questions?). And, yes, any college football coach criticizing an athlete for pursuing a better opportunity to get paid is a tad hypocritical.
Kelly won’t get any benefit of the doubt, though. He notably threw Kizer under the bus during the season, where QB play often seemed to be the least of Notre Dame’s problems. Kizer was top 30 in yards/attempt. He might have been top 20 if Kelly had not had him throwing deep in a hurricane against N.C. State.
In a vacuum, Kizer may have been better served by another year in college. Though, after Notre Dame’s 2016 season, it may have been better for both parties to move on.