2020 NFL Draft

DeShone Kizer, eager to contribute, ready to embrace role in Browns QB room

DeShone Kizer didn't back down from the spotlight cast on him as the newest member of the Browns' quarterbacks room.

The former Notre Dame standout and second-round draft pick spoke of a desire last week to contribute as much and as early as possible upon arriving at the team's Berea facility.

"Being the competitor that I am, I think that the best way to go out and contribute is to be playing yourself," he said Saturday, "so I'm going to be doing whatever I can to learn as fast as I can and as quickly as I can to play. That's the reason you play football is to play and not to sit around and watch from the sidelines."

Indeed, Kizer is part of a strong 2017 draft class that will go a long way toward helping Cleveland build up a youth-laden roster.

But both head coach Hue Jackson and Sashi Brown, Cleveland's executive vice president of football operations, made clear the rookie will face tough competition against more experienced signal-callers in Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan.

"I think we're going to give all of our guys an opportunity to compete. I think that's what it's all about," Jackson said. "It's not about who's the starter and who is this. Let's let these guys get here and learn our offense, spend time with myself and (quarterbacks) coach (David) Lee and go out onto the field and let's see how it all turns out."

To be sure, the Browns are intent on finding a long-term answer at the position, especially after injuries and inconsistencies gave way to three different starters in last season's 1-15 campaign.

"The quarterback position is something that we focus on all of the time," chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta said. "We have conversations about it probably every week."

The addition of Kizer adds another dynamic to a new-look room that parted ways with veterans Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown this past offseason.

A two-year starter at Notre Dame who conceded he has room to improve after an inconsistent 2016 season, Kizer said he's looking forward to leaning on his older counterparts.

"I think in this last year and more importantly in these last couple months, having knowledge on how much room for growth there is and to be going into a system in which everyone also acknowledges that around me and is not expecting me to come in and be some all-star right away is pretty cool because I know I can learn a lot," he said.

"Obviously, the history here at the quarterback position is one that's been recognized from quite a few people and I'm just looking to do whatever I can to become a help to that. I don't know whether that means competing with the guy next to me and pushing him or playing myself, but I'm going to do whatever I can do to contribute to this team as much as I can."

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