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Cody Kessler | Quarterback

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (23) / 5/11/1993
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 220

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CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora views the Browns' decision to draft USC QB Cody Kessler instead of Michigan State QB Connor Cook as one of the key forks in the road of the draft.
The Browns surprised by degrees with their selection of Kessler in the third round. In the process, they bypassed eventual Raider pick Connor Cook. And that decision, La Canfora believes, could have been pivotal (we just don't know whether for better or worse). "The fact that the perpetually quarterback-starved Browns passed on [Cook] the most [six times in total], and then banked their analytics on Kessler, makes this all the more juicy to chronicle over time." La Canfora relayed that several sources he trusts did not have Kessler graded higher than a fifth-rounder. May 7 - 2:11 PM
Source: CBS Sports

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CBS Sports' Pete Prisco questioned the Browns' use of a third-round pick on USC QB Cody Kessler.

"I know [HC] Hue Jackson has ties to USC," Prisco wrote, "but is [Kessler] really worth a third-round pick?" The analyst slapped a C- on Cleveland's draft as a whole, though he was a big fan of their selection of Colorado State WR Rashard Higgins in the fifth round. Of the 14 (!) players the Browns drafted in Chicago, five of them were wide receivers, headlined by Baylor's Corey Coleman at No. 15. Prisco believes this class will be tied to the success of QB Carson Wentz for the Eagles, given that Cleveland traded out of the No. 2 slot. Of course, Wentz's development (regardless of how it plays out) won't have any actual bearing on the success or failure of the athletes the Browns actually did select.
Source: CBS Sports
May 5 - 10:29 PM

Browns selected USC QB Cody Kessler with the No. 93 overall pick in the 2016 draft.

Kessler (6'1/220) made 27 starts for the Trojans, logging a school-record 67.5% career completion rate with an 8.20 YPA and 88:19 TD-to-INT ratio. A game-manager type, Kessler has baseline NFL arm strength and a consistent track record of accuracy, but struggles to make throws on the run, is short for a quarterback and showed little vertical ability in the Pac 12. Most likely, Kessler will settle in as a backup.
Apr 29 - 11:07 PM

USC QB Cody Kessler has visited the Chargers, Saints, Browns and Lions.

"Could go a lot earlier than expected,"'s Ian Rapaport added. That could mean a third or fourth round call for Kessler. If that happens, it'll be an overdraft.
Apr 19 - 9:50 PM

According to NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys had their choice of quarterbacks to coach at the Senior Bowl and chose USC QB Kody Kessler.

While the Cowboys have drawn big headlines at times in the possibility they might draft a quarterback at No. 4, it is far, far more likely they grab a quarterback like Kessler in the later rounds. We aren't particularly keen on Kessler as an eventual NFL starter, but he could develop into a dependable backup. This offseason, he has been working to improve his accuracy on deep passes. Fellow mid-to-late-round signal-caller Dak Prescott is visiting the Cowboys on Tuesday.
Apr 19 - 1:03 PM

USC QB Cody Kessler indicated that much of his focus this pre-draft season has been in improving his deep passing.

"I wasn’t stepping into my throws and was moving around a little bit," Kessler said. He believes he has made an adjustment on a delivery flaw that prevented accuracy on deeper passes in 2015. "I was limited a little bit last year. My short and intermediate passes have always been there," insisted the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder. He should be in line for a potential mid-to-late-round backup opportunity with an NFL squad come April's draft. Last season, Kessler threw for 3,536 yards (66.8% completions) and a 29/7 TD/INT ratio. In 2014, he bested all of those numbers with 3,826 passing yards (69.7% completions) and a 39/5 TD/INT ratio.
Mar 26 - 1:07 PM

Alabama OC Lane Kiffin indicated that USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler showed an admirable work ethic to navigate through his time with the Trojans.

Said Kiffin, "That’s a difficult situation. For Cody to have all those different play-callers and all the stuff going on." Kiffin himself was canned as Trojans' HC after four games in 2013. This past season, it was Steve Sarkisian who was shown the door (and then subsequently threw a massive wrongful termination lawsuit at the door). In total, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler played for five different coaches during his college career. "That’s not fun to be the quarterback behind that. It shows how good Cody is, how strong he is, to go through all that and still play as well as he did," Kiffin said. Kessler threw for 3,536 yards with a 29/7 TD/INT ratio this past season.
Jan 11 - 8:36 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler completed 18-of-32 passes for 221 yards, a touchdown and an interception in Wednesday's 23-21 loss to Wisconsin in the National Funding Holiday Bowl.

Ho-hum final collegiate game for Kessler. Outside of a seven-yard scoring pass to Darreus Rogers with 10:19 remaining in the contest, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior was unable to do much through the air. Said touchdown did give the Trojans a temporary 21-20 lead, which was later erased on a 29-yard field goal by Rafael Gaglianone with just over two minutes left. Kessler completed several passes on the final drive of the game, but USC didn't come near a scoring opportunity before time expired. For the season, he finishes with 3,536 passing yards and a 29/7 TD/INT ratio. He's set to play in the Senior Bowl, then onward to the NFL Draft.
Thu, Dec 31, 2015 02:21:00 AM

The Senior Bowl will roster eight quarterbacks this year, an increase from six in previous all star games.

"The evaluation and forecast of QB's transitioning from #CFB to #NFL is complex, having 8 passers should really help the clubs," Executive Director Phil Savage said. As of now, six quarterbacks have accepted invites: Jacoby Brissett, Jeff Driskel, Kevin Hogan, Cody Kessler, Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz, with two other invites out: Connor Cook and Jacob Coker.
Thu, Dec 24, 2015 10:13:00 AM

The No. 25 USC Trojans (8-5) play the Wisconsin Badgers (9-3) in the National Funding Holiday Bowl on December 30.

USC has been installed as a three-point favorite. They boast the No. 12 S&P+ offense featuring QB Cody Kessler (3,315 yards with a 28/6 TD/INT ratio) and electrifying perimeter threats JuJu Smith-Schuster and Adoree' Jackson. The backfield isn't as famous but is actually a bit more efficient. USC uses a three-headed RB committee of Ronald Jones II, Justin Davis and Tre Madden, who combined for 2,271 rushing yards on a 5.9 YPC. Madden has been ruled out, so it'll be Jones and Davis' show. Wisconsin's elite defense leads the FBS in scoring and ranks No. 7 as an overall unit in S&P+'s metrics. It leads the country in yards per game allowed and points per possession. The group doesn't have many superstars or popular NFL prospects, but it's physical and smart. It is best embodied by Big Ten linebacker of the year Joe Schobert, who has 18.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks and a program-record five forced fumbles.
Sun, Dec 20, 2015 07:50:00 PM

NFL Media's Albert Breer has spoken with evaluators who believe Stanford QB Kevin Hogan and USC QB Cody Kessler could "last for a decade in the NFL as great backups."

"Some think they can be more," Breer writes. We expect around 12 quarterbacks to be draft this spring, plus or minus a couple of throwers. Compare that to last year's draft, when only seven quarterbacks were drafted. The NFL is posting higher passing production than ever before, but the talent from starter to third quarterbacks could be improved.
Tue, Dec 8, 2015 11:03:00 AM

Per NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks, USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "simply lacks the arm strength to test elite defenses with vertical throws."

Brooks noted that scouts most surely took note of Kessler's relative ineffectiveness in Saturday's PAC-12 Championship Game. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior completed 22-of-37 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown in the 41-22 loss to Stanford. On the whole, he's thrown nine fewer touchdowns in 2015 than he did last season (28 vs 37). Wrote Brooks, "With Kessler failing to ignite the Trojans' offense with his play from the pocket, scouts will question whether he has the potential to develop into a front-line starter as a pro."
Mon, Dec 7, 2015 05:01:00 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler completed 22-of-37 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 41-22 loss to Stanford in the PAC-12 Championship Game.

In a game that started slowly on the offensive side, Kessler didn't throw his touchdown pass until the third quarter when he hooked up with Jahleel Pinner for a one-yard score. Otherwise, nothing doing for the 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior. He finishes the pre-bowl campaign having passed for 3,315 yards with a 28/6 TD/INT ratio. It's been a fine season, if not quite as spectacular as might have been expected given the 37 touchdown passes he tossed in 2014.
Sat, Dec 5, 2015 11:38:00 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler completed 15-of-26 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 40-21 win over UCLA.

Kessler's 175 yards passing were his second lowest total in a game this season, but he's at least back on track with the touchdown passes after hitting a lull in the middle of the season. In Saturday's win, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior threw both of his scoring passes in the second half, hitting Darreus Rogers and Taylor McNamera on touchdowns of 20 and seven yards, respectively. For the season, Kessler's thrown for 3,128 yards with a 27/6 TD/INT ratio.
Sat, Nov 28, 2015 07:06:00 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler completed 30-of-41 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 48-28 loss to Oregon.

Fine numbers for Kessler, but USC's offense simply couldn't keep up with the Ducks. They tried early, anyway. Both of Kessler's touchdown passes came in the first half. The latter--a 12-yard hook-up with Tyler Petite--knotted the score at 14-14 midway through the second quarter. From that point onward, Oregon outscored the Trojans 34-14. For his part, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler's thrown for 2,953 yards with a 25/6 TD/INT ratio over the course of the 2015 campaign. He's shaken out of a mid-season slump to throw seven touchdown passes over his last three games.
Sat, Nov 21, 2015 07:30:00 PM