The Cleveland Browns selected USC quarterback Cody Kessler with the 93rd overall pick in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Despite highly touted Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook still available the Browns opted for Cody Kessler instead.
Kessler is the 21st USC quarterback to be drafted into the NFL. He joins a long list of polarizing Men of Troy including several current USC quarterbacks in the NFL -- Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and Matt Cassel.
A three-year starter at USC, Kessler was a stabilizing force for one of the most tumultuous periods in USC history. Not only were USC still suffering from the hangover of the NCAA sanctions imposed on the team during the Pete Carroll era, they also could not find a head coach to steady the ship. Kessler played under five different head coaches between 2013 and 2015.
Despite the difficult circumstances, Kessler flourished, becoming the most accurate passer in USC history. As a sophomore in 2013, the Southern California native took over from Matt Barkley following a brief competition with Max Wittek. Kessler went on to lead USC to a 10-4 record and a national ranking of #19 in the country. In his first year as a starter, he threw for nearly 3,000 yards, 20 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. In 2014, Kessler's only season with just one head coach, he had the best season of his college career, passing for 3,800 yards, 39 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. In his senior season, Kessler led the Trojans to their first ever Pac-12 South title, passing for 3,500 yards, 29 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
While not the flashiest of players, Kessler's elite accuracy and penchant for looking after the football are strengths that every NFL teams covets in a quarterback. He may not become a household NFL name, but certainly has the desired skill set and demeanor to become a successful career backup and spot starter. Given that the Browns have a bit of a problem at QB after dumping the troubled Johnny Manziel and signing RGIII Kessler should have ample opportunity to compete for the starting job in Cleveland.
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