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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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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. Nov 28 - 7:06 PM

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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.
Nov 21 - 7:30 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler completed 17-of-27 passes for 204 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Friday's 27-24 win over Colorado.

Kessler and crew entered halftime trailing Colorado 17-6, but the offense woke up in the second half. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior tossed a pair of short touchdown passes in the third quarter to push USC to a 20-17 lead, then hooked up with standout WR JuJu Smith-Schuster on a 36-yard touchdown shortly after the start of the fourth quarter. Kessler's numbers have zigged and zagged all over the place this season. He threw 15 touchdown passes in his first four games, three in his next four and five in his last two. This all equals out to 23 total touchdown passes. The inconsistency is maddening for DFS purposes, but he'll try to stay hot in contests against Oregon and UCLA to close out the 2015 campaign.
Nov 14 - 12:35 AM

An NFL scout said USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "gets a little tied up in his progression" and "needs to work on that."

"He's pretty good pre-snap," the scout told The Los Angeles Times. "He's accurate short to intermediate. He does not have a big arm. He's not a great deep-ball thrower…. They throw a lot of screens and hitches and bubble routes, everything really quick. If he's forced to hold onto the ball and it goes to second or third in progression, he's not nearly as decisive with it." The 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior completed 18-of-22 passes for 186 yards in Saturday's 27-21 win over Cal. "Obviously, they've had some issues there this year and it's been tough for all those kids, but he's a notch down [compared to Cal's Jared Goff] across the board," a second scout said. "Totally different ceiling on those two guys." Said Scout 3: "He's got all the intangibles. Smart, accurate for the most part. He has a hard time pushing the ball down the field. He's got a better cast [than Goff] around him."
Nov 1 - 12:41 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler completed 18-of-22 passes for 186 yards in Saturday's 27-21 win over Cal.

Kessler was certainly accurate enough, but his lack of touchdown passes of late is putting a serious crimp in his DFS usability. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior held a 15/1 TD/INT ratio through four games. In the four games since, he's tossed just three touchdown passes against four interceptions. USC has a ton of offensive firepower, but it's difficult to trust Kessler in DFS formats while he's stuck in his current rut.
Oct 31 - 6:18 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter still thinks USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler has a decent chance to go in the top-50.

"After a couple of poor performances in losses to Washington and Notre Dame, whispers that Kessler had fallen into the mid-round category became louder -- but then he returned to his comfort zone with an excellent effort in the team's upset win over Utah last week," Reuter wrote. "Kessler might not be the franchise quarterback some once believed him to be, but leading USC to wins at Oregon and against rival UCLA with big throws into small windows (and low interception totals) should at least allow him to hear his name called as a top-50 pick next April." We disagree. We aren't scared by the NFL failure of former Trohan QBs like Matt Cassel, Matt Leinart, John David Booty, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley. Rather, we think Kessler's game is being propped up by an outstanding catch-and-run supporting cast of skill position players.
Oct 29 - 5:08 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "had the look of two very different quarterbacks" in Saturday's win over Utah, proposes NFL Media's Lance Zierlein.

"When he felt safe in the pocket, he threw the ball with very good accuracy, touch and confidence," Zierlein wrote. "Whenever he sensed his pocket wasn't a safe haven, he panicked, dropped his eyes and missed open targets. While Kessler has the tools to throw it from the pocket, his fleeting poise is a major concern as a quarterback who could be subjected to a blitz-happy afternoon." Kessler's final stat line impressed. He went 21-for-28 (75 percent) for 264 yards and a score.
Oct 25 - 1:29 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler's play has reinforced "the day three grades that several scouts gave him over the summer," CBS Sports' Dane Brugler observes.

"Kessler will go down as one of the most efficient passers in USC history, but he has underwhelmed for NFL evaluators this season, reinforcing the day three grades that several scouts gave him over the summer. He has a very average arm and struggles to add zip to his throws, which especially shows when flat-footed," Brugler writes. The USC prospect has been picked off five times in the last three weeks, and will have to face another tough defense versus the No. 3 Utah Utes. If Kessler wants to help improve his draft stock, he'll have to show evaluators he can play big against a tougher opponent.
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 22 - 2:57 PM

Scouting sources tell TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline that USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler is receiving draft grades "of the late (6th/7th) round variety."

That's not all. "Sources at USC believe back-up Max Browne will eventually develop into a better pro-prospect," Pauline wrote. Rest assured this is not a vendetta against Kessler, a very good college quarterback, rather purely a projection for the next level." We also aren't high on Kessler's pro prospects. He's small, has below-average arm strength and isn't terribly composed in the face of pressure. He has the look of a career NFL backup.
Oct 20 - 7:58 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler completed 30-of-46 passes for 365 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in Saturday's 41-31 loss to Notre Dame.

Kessler earned his yards on volume and it's nice to see some legitimate numbers given that he threw for just 165 yards in the team's loss to Washington last week, but he's in the middle of a rough patch. After opening the season with three consecutive interception-free efforts, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior's been picked off five times in his last three games. He still makes for palatable DFS option, but he's not as sure of a thing as earlier in the season.
Oct 18 - 12:53 AM

An AFC Pac-12 scout questions how USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler will respond to the turmoil surrounding the program.

The upside of coach Steve Sarkisian's dismissal is it gives Kessler an outstanding opportunity to dispel numerous questions evaluators have about him. "All this stuff with (former USC coach Steve Sarkisian) will create the kind of turmoil in that locker room that will challenge (Cody) Kessler," the scout said. "I suspect he's a little bit of a lamb-killer, so we'll see if he can rise to the challenge or if he will be the shrinking violet we saw last week (in a loss to Washington)." Kessler has fatted up against weak opponents, though he did play well against elite competition last year. "Kessler is not close to being my favorite quarterback prospect thanks to concerns I have with his pocket poise," wrote NFL Media's Lance Zierlein.
Oct 16 - 5:25 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Ohio State's Cardale Jones and USC's Cody Kessler as the No. 8 and 9 signal-callers, respectively, in the class.

The draft stock of both have obviously taken a big hit over the past month and a half. Jones remains an inconsistent enigma. His still has that howitzer for an arm to stretch the field, but the tools have come along so slowly that the Buckeyes have reverted to a two-quarterback system. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Kessler, meanwhile, is small, short on arm strength and a mediocre athlete. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported recently that west coach scouts say Kessler "could end up as a last day pick."
Source: Rotoworld
Oct 14 - 7:23 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler's performance against the Huskies "showcased why a lot of NFL evaluators aren't high on his pro projection," CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes.

The USC prospect had a rough outing in USC's loss to Washington last Saturday, as he completed only 55-percent of his throws for 156 passing yards. On the day, Kessler also added in two interceptions, making it his first multi-interception outing, in almost two years. Brugler notes that Kessler's "production looks good on paper, but his tape is underwhelming when talking about his transition to the next level."
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 14 - 2:26 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline is being told by west coach scouts that USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "could end up as a last day pick."

Some may be surprised by this dispatch, but we aren't. Kessler has been exposed this season as a quarterback whose physical limitations require that he be surrounded by elite talent to excel. "Scouts ranked Kessler as the top senior quarterback entering the season ahead of Michigan State’s Connor Cook but the more they watch the more they are concerned by the physical limitations Kessler brings," Pauline wrote. "The feeling is his lack of height, average arm strength and below average foot speed won’t translate well to the next level and the physical skills are unworthy of a top 100 selection." The Trojans' 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior needs to play at an elite level the rest of the season to go on Day 2.
Oct 13 - 9:03 PM

USC redshirt senior QB Cody Kessler "struggled mightily" in Friday's loss to Washington, according to NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

"He locked onto receivers, and lacked accuracy and poise," the former NFL scout said. "Bad night." Kessler did so in a bad spot, as a gamut of NFL teams were watching the primetime tilt. Denver Broncos general manager John Elway and San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke were in the house, as were reps from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Trojans' 6-foot-1, 215-pound redshirt senior is a lauded prospect, but it's worth wondering how his dink-and-dunk game would work on a team without JuJu Smith-Schuster and USC's merry band of five-star recruits. Often compared to Drew Brees, try on this thought experiment for size: How would Kessler be viewed were he to play for Brees' former school, Purdue?
Oct 9 - 5:25 PM