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DeShone Kizer making case to be Browns starting QB

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What is that sound steamrolling down the tracks? What is that deep choo-choo screaming louder by the moment?

It's the DeShone Kizer Hype Train barreling towards us.

The rookie second-round pick has edged ahead in the quarterback battle with Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler to open the Cleveland Browns' preseason.

Veteran beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote Kizer not only won the first seven days of training camp, but "it's not even close."

The Browns' scrimmage Friday could cement Kizer's place atop the depth chart for next Thursday, when Cleveland hosts the New Orleans Saints to open the preseason.

Coach Hue Jackson made sure to pump the breaks on the Kizer hype train, noting that the starter to open the preseason might not keep the job by the time the real games begin.

"I will say to all of you -- me making a decision who may start the game may not be who's the starter for the season, too," Jackson said. "I mean I still have to go through the process. Next week, the guy that starts might not still be the starter in my mind unless that's where I am.

"I told you guys I'm not going to rush. ... It's too important of a decision to get right for our football team. So I love the pressure you guys put on but I'm not succumbing to it."

In the best of worlds, Kizer would out-and-out win the starting job. The rookie owns more physical talents than the milquetoast Kessler (who seems destined to own a decade-long backup role in the NFL) and the train-wreck Osweiler (who NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported this week hasn't sniffed starting snaps during camp). If he picks up the mental side, Kizer should leave the two other quarterbacks in his dust.

It remains early in the process, but when a veteran beat reporter is openly willing to say a rookie was the clear winner, we shouldn't take it lightly.

Getting a long look at Kizer this season would be the best-case scenario for the perennially rebuilding Browns. Of course, given their luck, that probably means Kizer will lose a finger to gangrene over the weekend -- sorry, Browns fans.

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