BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns will go slow with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Recent experience with second-round quarterbacks shows that the success rate is not high. Those who have it (and who have an open spot at the position) have started immediately. Two have succeeded.
But the bulk of the second-rounders have not.
From 2007-16, 14 quarterbacks were taken in the second round of the draft.
Hue Jackson has said he will not force DeShone Kizer, but if Kizer earns the job, he will play. Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports
Two can be called unqualified successes: Oakland’s Derek Carr and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton. Carr started immediately and has grown every season. Last season he led the Raiders to a 12-3 record and threw 28 touchdowns and six interceptions before breaking his leg just before the playoffs. Carr’s future was secured with a $125 million contract. Dalton also started immediately and has been to the playoffs four times. He’s criticized for not winning a playoff game, but the Bengals aren’t about to move on from him.
Two have yet to play enough to write their saga: the Jets’ Christian Hackenberg and New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo. Hackenberg did not throw a pass as a rookie, but he will be given the chance to start this season. Garoppolo has waited behind one of the greatest ever, Tom Brady.
Two had mixed results: Brock Osweiler played well as Peyton Manning’s backup, but not so well as Houston’s starter. He’s trying to re-establish his career in Cleveland. Colin Kaepernick went to the Super Bowl in his second season, the NFC Championship Game in his third. His career went south from there and he’s now trying to find a team that will take him.
The other eight simply did not work out.
These tales are probably no different from any other round when quarterbacks are taken. Some make it, some don’t. Robert Griffin III does not have a team after being taken second behind Andrew Luck in 2013. In the same draft, Ryan Tannehill grew into the job in Miami and Brandon Weeden has settled into a role as a backup. Both were first-rounders.
But there’s a reason quarterbacks go in the second round and not the first, especially given the premium given to the position. Notre Dame coach Chip Kelly said Kizer would have benefited from another year in college.
Hue Jackson has rightly said he will not force Kizer, but if Kizer earns the job, he will play. The words of Bill Walsh ring true: Forcing a young quarterback on the field before he’s ready can be a traumatic experience.
A look at those who didn’t make it is revealing.
Geno Smith went 8-8 for the Jets as a rookie in 2013, but 3-10 in ’14. He’s had three starts since and has thrown 36 interceptions to 28 touchdowns. Jimmy Clausen was 1-13 as a starter for three teams in six seasons. Pat White is the outlier. He was drafted to run the Wildcat and lasted one season in Miami and threw five passes. Brian Brohm played two seasons.
Chad Henne played eight for Miami and Jacksonville, but went 18-35 as a starter. Kevin Kolb and John Beck never worked out. The one exception might have been Drew Stanton. Bruce Arians liked him and was ready to have him start for the Cardinals, but then Carson Palmer became available.
The combined numbers for the 14 second-round quarterbacks average out to a passer rating of 79.7.
Dalton and Carr, though, have a combined rating of 88.7. The pair also have thrown for 40 percent of the yards of all 14, and 48 percent of the touchdowns and just 31 percent of the interceptions.
The other 12 have thrown more interceptions (278) than touchdowns (240), and have a combined rating of 73.8.