Hue Jackson: QB Cody Kessler to start with first-team


Cleveland's quarterback competition will begin with Cody Kessler.

Browns coach Hue Jackson confirmed Wednesday that his second-year signal-caller will march out with the first-team offense when the team opens camp on Thursday.

"Cody Kessler will walk out there first," Jackson said, per The Plain Dealer. "He deserves a chance to walk out there first."

Jackson offered few additional details on how the battle under center would play out in terms of snap count, saying only that he would "do it by feel" and hoped to name his starter by the first preseason game -- but wouldn't rush it.

Kessler makes sense to lead the way after starting eight games for the team as a third-round rookie in 2016. The Browns will also take a long look at rookie DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame and veteran Brock Osweiler, who landed with the team through an unusual offseason trade with the Texans.

"There will be markers as we go," Jackson said of the quarterback competition.

Kessler was competent as a rookie, but he hardly offers the built-in traits of an AFC North passer. It's Kizer who could win Jackson over with his strong arm and physical gifts, but only if he makes a lightning-quick adaptation to life in the NFL.

As for Osweiler, it wouldn't surprise us to see him start Week 1 or simply be released at some stage.

The pecking order in Cleveland will be monitored closely, but nothing will change for the Browns until they find an unquestioned franchise passer to lean on. Nothing today suggests they have one on the roster.