At Notre Dame’s Pro Day Thursday, each participating member of the Fighting Irish donned official team gear as they prepared to impress NFL scouts.
Except quarterback DeShone Kizer.
The first-round hopeful took the field wearing a t-shirt from the band Chicago’s 50th anniversary tour, a not-so-subtle nod to the Bears’ staffers in attendance. The ploy worked. Not long after his workout concluded, the franchise scheduled a private workout with the talented, dual-threat quarterback.
ESPN’s Jeff Darlington snapped photographic proof of Kizer’s tribute to the band that gave us “Saturday in the Park,” “Stronger Every Day,” and “25 or 6 to 4.”
At pro day, QB DeShone Kizer is wearing a t-shirt from the band Chicago's tour. All other players wearing team-issued gear.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 23, 2017
Bears pick 3rd. pic.twitter.com/lGOZzSyW9d
Kizer is expected to be one of the top three quarterbacks selected in the 2017 NFL draft, along with North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. The Bears could snap him up with the No. 3 overall selection, but it seems unlikely he’ll go that early. A rundown of mock drafts pegs Chicago for a defensive player or Trubisky with their first pick.
The Bears’ quarterback situation fell into disarray last fall as Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and Matt Barkley all earned starts thanks to a combination of injuries and lackluster play. That entire platoon has been wiped clean from the roster in favor of former Buccaneer Mike Glennon, who joined the team this spring on a three-year deal worth up to $45 million. He and Connor Shaw are currently the only two passers on the roster.
If Chicago really is targeting Kizer, it may have to use a premier pick to scoop him. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Browns have spent “an inordinate amount of time” at Notre Dame games to scout the versatile passer. Cleveland has the top pick in April’s draft — where it’s expected to select dynamic pass rusher Myles Garrett — as well as the No. 12 pick after last year’s trade with the Eagles.
Kizer may well fall to the No. 36 pick, where the Bears will make their second choice of the draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has him slipping out of the first round, while SB Nation’s Dan Kadar projects him to the Texans with the 25th selection. However, one big performance in his upcoming private workout with Chicago scouts could be all it takes to turn the Notre Dame quarterback into a top-five pick at the NFL draft.