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Cody Kessler | Quarterback

Team: USC Trojans
Age / DOB:  (21) / 5/11/1993
Ht / Wt:  6'1' / 215

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ESPN's Mel Kiper expects USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler to return to school.
Kessler requested an evaluation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board last week. "Nobody has had a quietly better year than Kessler, but I expect him to be back at USC, which is huge for Steve Sarkisian," Kiper wrote. "He'll be deep at QB, that's for sure." Kiper ranks Kessler as the No. 7 draft-eligible signal-caller. An evaluator speaking with the OC Register last week said Kessler is a fourth-round prospect and cited a lack of "elite" physical traits. Dec 17 - 4:35 PM

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Date:

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler requested an evaluation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.

"Any junior will tell you: You want to … hear all your options to make the best decision," said Kessler. "How this year went kind of set me up, bumped me up, helped me out a lot. But at the end of the day … I haven’t even sat down and really thought about it." Kessler, who has thrown 36 touchdown passes and only four interceptions this year, has maintained throughout the season that he'll return to school, but it doesn't hurt to learn how the NFL values you. We think he'll be told to return to school, as it would be shocking if the board graded Kessler as a Rd. 2-or-better prospect. An evaluator speaking to the OC Register said Kessler is a fourth-round prospect and cited a lack of "elite" physical traits.
Dec 9 - 12:08 AM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler is "open to possibility of declaring for NFL draft," reports Michael Lev of the Orange County Register.

"Exploring his options," Lev tweeted. "Getting eval. No decisions till after bowl." It would certainly be an interesting decision by a prospect who is extremely unlikely to hear his name called on even Day 2. That said, we like Kessler, who is accurate, efficient, functionally mobile, and tough. It's just that he's also small, doesn't have a strong arm to get the ball downfield, and doesn't have the velocity to always fit the balls into tight windows. He's been compared to signal-callers like Brian Hoyer and Aaron Murray. If he declares, Kessler would be a solid Day 3 pick. Because of his weaknesses, it's doubtful that returning to school is going to aid his stock much. Previously, Kessler has told the media he'll return for his final season of eligibility. Stay tuned.
Dec 7 - 2:49 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the week.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler completed 32 of 40 passes for 372 yards and six touchdowns in the school's 49-14 win over Notre Dame on Saturday. The redshirt junior has functional mobility and tendency to keep his eyes up to find open receivers. Right now, Kessler's ceiling might be at a Brian Hoyer-like level, but compared to other quarterbacks that is not bad. The USC prospect has made it known that he plans to return to school and has recruited other draft-eligible Trojans to do the same.
Dec 1 - 3:48 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler completed 32 of 40 attempts for 372 yards and six touchdowns on 32 of 40 attempts in the school's 49-14 win over Notre Dame.

This one was over at halftime, as USC led 35-7 and Kessler even sat a large portion of the fourth quarter. We have consistently praised Kessler this season from his functional mobility and tendency to keep his eyes up to find open receivers. His ceiling might be at a Brian Hoyer-like level, but compared to other quarterbacks that is not bad. Kessler has said he is returning to school and has recruited other draft-eligible Trojans to do the same.
Nov 29 - 6:53 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler "is reminiscent to former Georgia QB Aaron Murray as a NFL prospect," according to CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.

"Kessler was able to show functional mobility in the pocket as his offensive line didn't do him many favors, but his lack of arm strength and velocity were also evident. A junior who is expected to return to school, Kessler is reminiscent to former Georgia QB Aaron Murray as a NFL prospect," Brugler wrote. The USC prospect recently completed 22 of 34 attempts for 214 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the school's 38-20 loss to UCLA. Brugler adds that Kessler "showed his limitations against the Bruins, struggling to push the ball downfield on throws over 15 yards."
Source: CBS Sports
Nov 25 - 3:55 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler completed 22 of 34 attempts for 214 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the school's 38-20 loss to UCLA.

USC's offensive line was in shambles the entire game. Kessler is not overly athletic but has functional mobility in a Mark Sanchez type of way. He was forced to make a lot of shorter throws thanks to frequent pressure in the pocket, but he did escape and elongate some passing downs to convert longer targets. Kessler is not expected to declare this season, but we like his prospects for next year.
Nov 23 - 11:17 AM

CBS Sports' Rob rang notes that USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler "demonstrated poise, accuracy and functional mobility" in Thursday night's 38-30 win over Cal.

Rang notes that "two NFL prospects at quarterback are clearly Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston" but believes that Kessler's name should be added into the discussion along side the other top QB prospects. "Southern Cal's Cody Kessler demonstrated the poise, accuracy and functional mobility in Thursday night's 38-30 win over Cal to potentially challenge UCLA's Brett Hundley, Michigan State's Connor Cook, and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott as a candidate for this distinction," Rang wrote. Against Cal, Kessler completed 31 of 42 attempts for 371 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the school's 38-30 win. Rang notes that even though Kessler "lacks ideal size at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds" he's "played big since Steve Sarkisian took over head coaching duties with the Trojans." The USC prospect is unlikely to declare this season, but he could enter next season as the top senior prospect at the position.
Source: CBS Sports
Nov 14 - 3:35 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler completed 31 of 42 attempts for 371 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the school's 38-30 win over Cal.

We would never call Kessler a vertical passer, but he is very good at understanding the offense, deciding on the appropriate read, using his functional mobility to find space to throw, and gets the ball out of his hands. We have no idea how much he grasps offenses, but he has a skill set similar to Brian Hoyer. Kessler is unlikely to declare this season, but he could enter next season as the top senior prospect at the position.
Nov 14 - 8:47 AM

USC HC Steve Sarkisian said that the key to redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler's success was that he "[makes] really good decisions with the football."

Sure, it's coach-speak, but the numbers bear it out. Kessler's only been intercepted twice this season while throwing for 2,548 yards and 25 touchdowns. "He doesn't take any chances, that's the biggest thing," Washington State coach Mike Leach said. "They do a lot of things to make sure he's successful out there." On his part, Kessler said he's been "studying a lot more film throughout the week, knowing my opponent, knowing what look we’re going to get when we line up in what formation, knowing where I’m going with the ball each and every play." He might not have a cannon for an arm, but the junior is a smart pocket quarterback with an uncanny patience in the pocket. He has the kind of mental talent that coaches look for at the next level.
Source: ESPN.com
Nov 13 - 9:43 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler was named one of five finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Kessler has the opportunity to join the other USC alum who have previously won the award. USC's Rodney Peete, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart all have been awarded the tropy in the past. The four other finalists this year, are UCLA's Brett Hundley, Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Baylor's Bryce Petty and Mississippi State's Dak Prescott. Kessler has completed 207 of 297 passes, while throwing for 2548 yards, with 25 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Kessler as a top six quarterback, but it does not appear that the Trojan is considering leaving for the NFL. He displays sound pocket movement and a willingness to work through reads, albeit without a fantastic, eye catching arm.
Nov 10 - 2:31 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler told a local radio station he has already begun recruiting fellow draft-eligible non-seniors to return in 2015.

"My goal right now is to make sure everybody comes back next year," Kessler said. "That’s where my mind is at right now. I want to make sure everybody comes back so we can be successful." Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Kessler as a top six quarterback, but it does not appear that the Trojan is considering leaving for the NFL. He displays sound pocket movement and a willingness to work through reads, albeit without a fantastic, eye catching arm.
Nov 5 - 9:39 AM

NFL.com media analyst Bucky Brooks noted that USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler's numbers are Heisman-worthy.

Of course, Brooks also started out his note on Kessler by saying that USC's record will probably keep the junior out of the proceedings. Brooks wrote that "while other quarterbacks have run up similar numbers running fast-paced spread attacks, the fact that Kessler has been so productive in a system that is similar to the schemes used by the majority of NFL teams makes him an intriguing developmental prospect to watch going forward." His numbers are eye-popping, as he's tossed 25 touchdowns to just two interceptions while completing almost 70 percent of his passes. We agree with Brooks' assessment. While Kessler might not have the rocket arm of other prospects, he's smart and and patient, qualities that are coveted at the next level and can do a lot to make up for physical limitations.
Source: NFL.com
Nov 3 - 6:53 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler completed 21-of-32 passes and threw for 400 yards and five touchdowns in Saturday's win against Washington State.

It was an impressive performance, as it came in rainy, foggy conditions in Pullman. We think Kessler is one of the nation's most underrated quarterbacks. He's posted an insane 25/2 TD/INT ratio and thrown for 2,548 yards on a near 70-percent completion percentage. You don't hear a ton about Kessler in the draft community because he's only 6-foot-1 and doesn't have a big arm, but he's patient in the pocket, works through his reads until he identifies an open receiver and consistently makes smart decisions. He's going to make some team very happy as a reliable long-term backup who could work himself into something better down the line.
Nov 2 - 5:37 PM

USC redshirt junior QB Cody Kessler completed 24 of 32 attempts for 264 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the school's 24-21 loss to Utah.

Kessler is having one of the more underrated seasons, and we would select him over prospects who receive more attention, like Bryce Petty. He does not have a great downfield arm, but Kessler is one of the few college quarterbacks who looks patient in the pocket, finds operable space and is willing to work through multiple reads.
Oct 26 - 10:39 AM