This year's NFL Draft could feature a better all-round quarterback class than we've seen in the last couple of years. Top prospects like Cal's Jared Goff, North Dakota State's Carson Wentz and Memphis' Paxton Lynch are expected to go in the top-40 picks. For former USC Cody Kessler, the Combine was an opportunity to prove he belongs in the NFL.
Unfortunately for Kessler, alongside the aforementioned quarterbacks as well as a few other big school signal callers, he seems to get lost in the shuffle.
Measurements: 6'1″ | 220 lbs | 32 5/8″ arms | 10 7/8″ hands
40-yard dash: 4.89
Vertical jump: 29.5″
Broad jump: 104″
Kessler's overall Combine performance was certainly a mixed big. On the positive side, he has fairly large hands, a key component NFL execs like to see in quarterbacks to know they can be accurate and avoid frequent strip-sacks.
Kessler had a solid performance in his positional drills, as he showed the expected accuracy in short to intermediate routes. He showed NFL-ready footwork and even though he didn't have eye-popping athletics drill stats, he was still average in this year's quarterback class.
In the same vein that Kessler didn't have the best Combine numbers, his average performance did not help increase his draft stock. At just over six feet tall, Kessler's height isn't ideal for pocket passers.
Heading into the Combine, Kessler's biggest knock was his arm strength. A display of deep accurate passing might have given him a few looks in the second and third rounds, alas, Kessler's marginal arm strength was on full display.
Kessler makes for on the of the more intriguing draft prospects coming out of USC. He owns the school's all-time completion percentage with 67.5 percent and never threw more than seven interceptions as a full time starter. Kessler does have glaring athletic issues, put most importantly, he lacks the big arm.
With today's NFL offenses mostly relying on the passing game, arm strength and accuracy decide how extensive the playbook could be. Even though Kessler doesn't have the biggest arm, his accuracy and experience in a NFL-style offense should be enough for Kessler to be drafted in the fifth round and become an opportunistic backup quarterback.