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DeShone Kizer to Start for Browns, Odds Shorten for ROY

August 28, 2017

On September 10, when the Cleveland Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season, rookie DeShone Kizer will start at quarterback for the Browns. The rookie from Notre Dame will be Cleveland’s 27th starting quarterback since 1999.

In what was surprising to some, Kizer won the starting job under center over Brock Osweiler and last year’s starter in eight games Cody Kessler. Kizer will become the first rookie to start a season opener for Cleveland since 2012 when Brandon Weeden started.

Kizer is Cleveland’s fifth different starter on opening day in the last five years.

The decision to start Kizer by head coach Hue Jackson was surprising considering Osweiler started the first two games during the preseason for the Browns and on Saturday Kizer started but did not play very well completing just 6 of his 18 passes for 93 yards and one interception against Tampa Bay.

Jackson said he is committed over the long term to Kizer.

Following the draft, Kizer was listed at +1400 on several sportsbooks to be the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. However, when it was announced that he would be starting for Cleveland his odds dropped to +900.

Leonard Fournette a rookie running back out of LSU with the Jacksonville Jaguars has the shortest odds at +350, with Deshaun Watson a quarterback with Houston second at +425. Watson’s such short odds are rather surprising since Tom Savage had already been named as the starting quarterback for Houston on September 10.

Odds are not in Kizer’s favor. Since 1967, the AP has named its Offensive Rookie of the Year and no Cleveland player has ever won.

Cleveland will not have a good season unless Kizer plays superbly from Week 1. The Browns are +1450 to reach the postseason and -2750 to not make the postseason.

Cleveland may be favored in just one game all season. In Week 5, the Browns host the New York Jets and depending upon how the first four weeks play out, the Browns could actually be favored.

The long term thought process is the team will see quickly if Kizer is their future, and if not, the draft class of 2018 appears loaded with Sam Darnold at USC, Josh Rosen at UCLA and Josh Allen at Wyoming and the Browns will have 12 picks in the draft to find a new signal caller.

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