Mike McCarthy: DeShone Kizer would have been 2018 first-round pick

Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy clearly has a high opinion about quarterback DeShone Kizer, acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns this offseason.

McCarthy gave Kizer a huge compliment discussing the young passer, saying he believes the Notre Dame product would have been a first-round pick if he had stayed in school one more season.

“In my opinion, if he was in that class this year, he would’ve been part of that group of first four guys, or first five,” McCarthy said, per USA Today. “I always felt there were five, the five quarterbacks, first-round guys.”

As it was, there were four first-round passers in the latest draft, as Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson were all picked up on the opening day of the draft.

The head coach went on to elaborate on what he believes makes Kizer so special.

“I think he has exceptional arm talent,” McCarthy said. “What we’re asking him to do is, particularly the footwork and just how he fits the scheme, and how he operates is brand new to him. That always excites me, because when you see that guy has no experience or background but has the ability, to me that’s an opportunity for a lot of growth. So I think he has a bright future.”

Interestingly, when Kizer declared for the 2017 NFL Draft, his college coach Brian Kelly was against the move, saying he needed one more year in college.

Of course, we know that Kizer had a brutal rookie campaign with Cleveland. He got pulled from the starting job multiple times by Hue Jackson en route to a 0-15 record, completing 53.6 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards with 11 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

Needless to say, he landed softly in Green Bay, where he’ll now get to learn behind one of the greatest passers the NFL has ever seen in Aaron Rodgers.