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Cody Kessler | Quarterback

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (22) / 5/11/1993
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 215

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NFL Media draft analyst Gil Brandt wrote that USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "reminds you of Drew Brees in college."
In an ongoing countdown of the Top-20 players in college football by, Kessler joins the party at No. 13. Draft analyst Brandt called the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder "very smart, very accurate," while fellow expert Bucky Brooks said that Kessler "might lack the big arm that scouts covet, but there isn't a better game manager in college football." He completed 69.7% of his passes last season, good for 3,826 yards and a 39/5 TD/INT ratio. Aug 29 - 4:36 PM

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TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline compares USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler to Mark Sanchez.

He means it as a compliment. "That’[s] not a knock as I believe if Kessler is used correctly, unlike the way Sanchez was during much of his career with the New York Jets, he can start and be a successful signal caller on Sunday," Pauline wrote. "Kessler is an accurate passer who does not make mental errors but has size limitations." Pauline graded Kessler as a Rds. 2-3 prospect. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) on 69.7 percent completions with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year.
Aug 22 - 8:07 PM

ESPN's Phil Steele says USC redshirt senior Cody Kessler is the best Heisman contender in the nation.

"The previous five Heisman Trophy winners were all quarterbacks," Steele wrote. "If you average out their Heisman-winning seasons, they threw for about 300 yards per game and had a 68.9 completion percentage with a 36-7 TD-to-INT ratio. Kessler's numbers last season were: 294 ypg, 69.7 percent with a 39-5 ratio. It also doesn't hurt to have all five starting offensive linemen back, as well as several weapons at receiver and tight end." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler also averaged 8.5 yards per attempt on 69.7 percent completions.
Aug 16 - 5:46 PM

Pro Football Focus graded USC redshirt senior Cody Kessler as the clear top returning QB in the FBS.

Kessler is in a tier of his own, according to PFF's grades, with Cal's Jared Goff behind. The grades then become very similar, with WKU's Brandon Doughty, TCU Trevone Boykin and Clemson's Deshaun Watson round out the top five. Kessler is very successful in USC's offense since he handles a pocket very well and will work to multiple reads and levels of the field. As previously blurbed, Penn State's Christian Hackenberg was graded as PFF's worst quarterback in the FBS.
Aug 10 - 12:26 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler is a "smart, accurate player who avoids mistakes and reliably gets the ball in the hands of USC's ample playmakers," notes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.

"For how many times Kessler has been called underrated, maybe he still is somehow underrated," Brown wrote. "With a better offensive line, Kessler is poised for a big senior season." He pegs Kessler as the No. 14 college football player in the country. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder completed 69.7 percent of his attempts and threw for 3,826 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year.
Aug 9 - 8:58 PM

CBS Sports Rob Rang believes USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler is a "good - not great - NFL prospect because of some physical limitations."

"The fact that the talent around him and scheme in which he's enjoyed such great success have inflated his production," Rang wrote. The USC prospect passed for 3,826 yards and 39 touchdowns, while throwing just five interceptions, completing 69.7 percent of his attempts in 2014. Kessler will have to prove to scouts this season, that he's more than a product of the system.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 5 - 2:31 PM

USC coach Steve Sarkisian isn't concerned about his players getting overconfident following the media choosing the Trojans to win the Pac-12 in 2015.

"It's somewhat of a beauty contest right now," Sarkisian said. "I really don't think our guys are concerned with it." Oregon has won four of the last six Pac-12 titles, but of course lost Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota (amongst others) while the Trojans return three-year starter Cody Kessler (amongst others). "We don't need all the cameras and we don't need all the spotlight," sophomore linebacker Su'a Cravens said. "That comes with USC, but we don't need it. I think that's what makes us great."
Jul 31 - 9:25 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler said he returned to school to win the national title.

"I didn’t come back to win a Heisman or be an All-American, as nice as those honors are," Kessler said. "I came back because I’m tiring of losing four games a year. I came back because I wanted to win a Pac-12 title, a national title. I really think this could be that year. We could be the team to do that." Reminded that Matt Barkley said just about the same thing a few years back, Kessler stressed that the Trojans were realistic about the work it will take to achieve such a goal. "How could we be [overconfident]?" he said. "The last two years have been ... humbling." Kessler boasts a pristine career 59-12 TD/INT rate. "It’s to the point now where everyone feels like it’s done," Kessler said of the adversity that defined much of his first four seasons at USC. "It feels like we’re back."
Jul 26 - 8:16 PM

Per Sports on Earth's Matt Brown, USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler is "a smart, poised leader who distributes the ball accurately with impressive timing and rhythm."

"He's mechanically sound, and while he's not a runner, he has pocket mobility and keeps his eyes downfield in the face of pressure," Brown wrote. "At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Kessler won't wow anyone physically, but mentally he's ahead of anyone else in the country, and even if he doesn't have a huge arm, he's accurate anywhere on the field." The draft expert ranks Kessler as the No. 2 signal-caller in the land but noted an interesting stat. "In four games against ranked opponents, he averaged 6.6 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and three picks. In nine games against unranked opponents, he averaged 9.3 yards per attempt with 35 touchdowns and two picks," Brown wrote. " To compare, Marcus Mariota averaged 8.9 yards per attempt against seven ranked opponents last year." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler completed 69.7 percent of his attempts and threw for 3,826 yards (8.5 yards per attempt) with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year.
Jul 6 - 12:09 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "possesses average size, an adequate arm, and fair mobility once outside the pocket," according to NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

"However, his natural intelligence within the pocket and being coached up by Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian should count for something," he added. "Kessler hasn't turned the ball over much, looks off safeties to find the open man on the other side of the field, and moves within the pocket to buy time and find a secondary target. If he gets good marks as a leader from his coaches, NFL scouts will consider him a solid backup/spot starter option at the next level." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline recently reported that NFL scouts "are concerned with his Mark Sanchez like size."
Jun 28 - 2:30 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "lacks elite physical tools, but his anticipation and accuracy are ahead of the pack," writes ESPN's Mel Kiper.

"In 2014, he put together one of the most overlooked stellar seasons in recent memory," Kiper wrote. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. "Perhaps most impressively, he completed a hair under 70 percent of his throws," Kiper wrote. "He has also shown he can succeed when taking snaps from under center, not just out of the shotgun."
Jun 23 - 9:31 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that NFL scouts "by a pretty big margin" rank USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler as the No. 1 senior QB prospect.

Kessler still has his detractors, of course. "Some are concerned with his Mark Sanchez like size," Pauline wrote. Despite his 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame and lack of a prototypical bazooka, Kessler is one of the nation's best deep passers, thanks to his accuracy and toughness (he'll scramble and reset his feet to unload without ever dropping his eyes from downfield targets). That latter trait isn't often discussed, but it portends to NFL success about as much as any other signal-calling skill.
Jun 23 - 7:36 PM

With regards to USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler, NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein passes along that NFL scouts are concerned about the "number of dink and dunk throws baked into the offense and they are looking for improved anticipatory throws."

Despite losing wide receiver Nelson Agholor and running back Javorius "Buck" Allen, the analyst doesn't think Kessler's production (3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio) will drop off any this fall. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler "displayed amazing deep-ball accuracy last season, completing 50.6 percent of throws of 16-plus yards and he is effective from shotgun or under center," wrote Zierlein.
Jun 22 - 11:39 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah praised USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler.

"USC QB Cody Kessler doesn't have ideal measurables but he has good instincts/awareness," Jeremiah tweeted along with a play which Kessler displayed a willingness to move off his spot while keeping his eyes downfield and locate a third option underneath. The throw was wobbly but it got the job done. We love Kessler's functional mobility and capability to succeed within the offense.
Jun 22 - 9:51 AM

USC "is one of the top teams in the country and 8.5 wins supplies us with a lot of value," writes ESPN correspondent Phil Steele.

In Las Vegas currently, the Trojans are minus-150 to win over 8.5 games. Steele loves the proposition. "With 8.5 wins for the total, USC can afford to lose three games and still go over the total," he wrote. "I expect double-digit wins from the Trojans. QB Cody Kessler has a great supporting cast, including a veteran, top-notch offensive line. They have the best depth they have had since the sanctions hit and that should mean less wilting in the fourth quarter, which cost them some wins last season." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler threw for 3,826 yards with a 39/5 TD/INT ratio last year. He's surrounded by one of the nation's best supporting casts. We agree with Steele's assessment of USC.
Jun 9 - 9:07 PM