Photo of Cody Kessler
Grade
5.41 ?
  • 4.89 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 29.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 104.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.32 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'1" Height
  • 32 5/8" Arm Length
  • 220LBS. Weight
  • 10 7/8" Hands

Overview

Physically, there's nothing special about Kessler; he possesses average size, an adequate arm, and fair athleticism (though he can effectively move within the pocket, which is important). The three-year starter could never crack Pac-12 first or second all-conference teams from league coaches, thrice finishing in the honorable mention category. However, Kessler was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award the past two years because he moves the offense efficiently (3,826 yards, completed 69.7 percent of his passes; 3,536, 66.8 percent in 2015) and doesn?t turn the ball over much (39 touchdowns, five interceptions in 2014; 29 TD, 7 INT in 2015). In fact, Kessler owns the school record for career completion percentage at 67.5.

Analysis

Strengths

Baseline accuracy is pro quality. Never had a completion percentage lower than 65 percent as a three-­year starter. Will take what the defense gives them and keep the chains moving. Able to play "backyard catch" with open receivers underneath if defenses let him. Delivered from the pocket with a 70.4 completion percentage rate. Adequate arm strength. Good general sense of running an offense. Gets through progressions quickly. Has pocket feel with ability to climb the pocket to throw or escape from side doors when necessary.

Weaknesses

Just a shade over 6-foot-1, which is smaller than teams like. Below average move accuracy as a passer. Ability to hit targets with catchable throws falls off the table when forced to scramble. Doesn't show poise or arm strength for deep routes needing additional time to develop. Footwork unsettled by perceived pocket pressure. Tends to hesitate over anticipating and trusting his arm. Low-risk, low-reward approach. Rarely makes the "wow" throws with velocity or touch. Feet look jittery when moving from read to read.

NFL Comparison

Aaron Murray

Bottom Line

Can orchestrate an offense with confidence and accuracy when operating from a clean pocket, but doesn't appear to have the mentality of a player willing to take the risks necessary to strike with big plays often enough on the pro level. Kessler has moments where it is easy to like him on tape, but the traits and tape look more like those of a good, career backup than playoff starter.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.