Cody Kessler, QB, Southern California – 2016

Browns, Round 3.

Postseason Events: Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.

Positives: Was a redshirt senior, so he has a lot of experience at the position. He ran a prostyle offense in college, so he should be more ready for an NFL style offense. Above-average bulk for the position – built like a fullback. Huge hands. Pro-style offense. Above-average accuracy when he is on the move to either side to side or when stepping up into the pocket – even when throwing across his body on the move. Good accuracy on short and medium passes, and on timing routes. Has adequate accuracy rolling to his right. Throws with enough arm strength and has nice touch on his deep passes. Goes through his progressions patiently and is willing to check down. Steps up in the pocket under pressure well and delivers accurately. Willing to throw the ball away. He runs with adequate speed and quickness, and is willing to run. Able to step up in the pocket under outside pressure. Keeps his eyes downfield on the run. He is even willing to throw blocks on running plays.

Negatives: Slightly below-average height for the position. Below-average track speed and vertical leap for the position. Poor overall lower-body explosiveness in Combine drills, with poor ability to stop, change directions and accelerate out of cuts. While he could get the ball downfield, he throws with below-average velocity and his passes tend to wobble. While he throws with nice deep touch, his deep accuracy is merely below average. His throwing mechanics are inconsistent, and he sometimes tightens up throwing the deep pass. Long windup when he wants to throw with velocity. His back foot gets too deep at times on passes, limiting his torque. When he is on the run, he sometimes doesn’t seem to see obviously open receivers. Will sometimes throw it into heavy traffic in the middle of the field. Will also eyeball his receivers too much at times. Is a little late on anticipation at times and will wait for his receivers to be fully open before he throws the ball. In the red zone, loses track of linebackers and will throw directly at them. Will consistently throw the ball up for grabs and into coverage under pressure. Doesn’t seem to be very elusive in the pocket.

Pre-Draft Projection: Round 4. He has enough solid quarterbacking qualities to contribute at least as a backup in the NFL and probably wouldn’t be the worst starter for short stretches.

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