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Report: Browns spent 'inordinate' amount of time scouting Kizer


Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer intends to enter the 2017 NFL Draft, and the team that's in position to have the first chance to pick him is reportedly doing more than its fair share of due diligence on the QB.

Kizer announced his draft intentions on Monday, a day after ESPN reported Browns scout Lake Dawson spent "an inordinate amount of time" scouting Kizer at Notre Dame.

Cleveland, 0-13, holds a one-game lead over the 49ers for the draft's top pick with three weeks left in the regular season, and Kizer happens to play the position where Cleveland has its most glaring need, so it's not surprising that the franchise would have its eye on him.

Notre Dame finished a disappointing 4-8 this season, and Kizer's confidence appeared to wane as the season progressed. Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly said Kizer's play was "not acceptable" after he turned the ball over twice in a surprising home loss to Duke. Kelly even suggested he might take the starting job away from Kizer, although he didn't.

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Despite the struggles, Kizer remains one of the most highly regarded QB prospects. Two scouts told's Lance Zierlein in September that they preferred Kizer to Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, who also intends to enter the 2017 draft, and an executive has projected Kizer as a top-10 pick.

However, the consensus from the scouting community seems to be that no QB prospect in the 2017 class has emerged as a franchise-caliber player, no matter which underclassmen are granted early draft eligibility. The question is, will that lead QB-needy teams picking at the top of the draft to look elsewhere to address that area?

There's been some scuttlebutt that the Browns could pursue a trade for a young QB like Jimmy Garoppolo or AJ McCarron. A move like that would put Cleveland in position to solidify a position that has long been a source of consternation for the franchise, and take the best player available with its top pick. The team is reportedly enamored with one of CFB's top talents, Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett, who has yet to reveal his draft intentions.

Cleveland also holds the Eagles' first-round pick, which is currently slotted at No. 9, so the team will have plenty of flexibility. The Browns traded down from the No. 2 pick with the Eagles last year and passed on a chance to select Carson Wentz. The 2017 draft could be shaped by the answer to this question: Do the Browns see something in Kizer, or another top QB prospect, that they didn't see in Wentz?

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