Cody Kessler

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Cody Kessler
refer to caption
Kessler with the Cleveland Browns in 2016
No. 6 Cleveland Browns
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1993-04-11) April 11, 1993 (age 24)
Place of birth: Bakersfield, California
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Bakersfield (CA) Centennial
College: USC
NFL Draft: 2016 / Round: 3 / Pick: 93
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2016
Passing completions: 128
Passing attempts: 195
Passing yards: 1,380
TDINT: 6–2
Passer rating: 92.3
Player stats at

Cody David Kessler (born May 11, 1993) is an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at USC, and was drafted by the Browns in the third round (93rd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Kessler attended Centennial High School in Bakersfield, California, and played for Centennial's football team. As a senior, he threw for 2,831 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was the California Gatorade Football Player of the Year.[1] He was ranked as the second best pro-style quarterback recruit by[2] He was teammates with Jared Norris at Centennial High School.[3][4] Following his senior season, Kessler played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

College career[edit]

2011 season[edit]

Kessler was redshirted for the 2011 season.

2012 season[edit]

In 2012, he was a backup to Matt Barkley. He completed two passes for nine yards in a game against Colorado.[5]


In 2013, he competed with Max Wittek for the starting quarterback job. He ended up winning the job from Wittek.[6][7] His first pass touchdown came in the season opener against Hawaii to Nelson Agholor for 19-yards on August 29, 2013. He was 25-for-37 for 288 yards and a touchdown in a win over Stanford to receive Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. Kessler led USC to a 10–4 record, finishing the year 7–2 under interim head coaches Ed Orgeron and Clay Helton. Kessler was 22-for-30 for 345 yards with a career-best four touchdowns in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl rout over Fresno State, and received Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors. For the season he completed 236-of-361 passes for 2,968 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions.


Kessler playing for USC in 2015

USC hired former USC assistant and University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian to replace interim head coach Ed Orgeron. Despite it being an open competition, Kessler beat out Max Browne and Jalen Greene for the quarterback spot. On August 30, 2014 Kessler threw for a career-high 394 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns against Fresno State, leading to his first of three designations as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.[8] On October 18, Kessler accounted for seven touchdowns against Colorado, the most ever by a USC quarterback, leading to his second designation as Offensive Player of the week.[9][10] In the final game of the regular season, he threw six touchdowns against rival Notre Dame, the most touchdowns thrown by a single quarterback against Notre Dame in the 127-year history of the program, leading one Los Angeles Times writer to label him a potential 2015 Heisman Trophy candidate. This achievement led to his third designation as Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, tying him with Marcus Mariota for the most designations for the 2014 season.[11] He finished the season completing 315 of 452 passes for 3,826 yards with 39 touchdowns and five interceptions.


As a senior, he started all 14 games and completed 298-of-446 passes for 3,536 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He finished his career with 10,339 yards, 88 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.


Year Team Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2012 USC 2 2 100.0 9 4.5 0 0 137.8 0 0 0.0 0
2013 USC 236 361 65.4 2,968 8.2 20 7 148.8 42 -124 -3.0 1
2014 USC 315 452 69.7 3,826 8.5 39 5 167.1 55 -152 -2.8 2
2015 USC 298 446 66.8 3,536 7.9 29 7 151.7 61 -149 -2.4 4
Career 851 1,261 67.5 10,339 8.2 88 19 156.4 158 -425 -2.7 7


Professional career[edit]

Kessler in 2016
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad
6 ft 1 in 220 lb 32⅝ in 10⅞ in 4.89 s 1.68 s 2.90 s 4.00 s 7.32 s 29.5 in 8 ft 8 in
All values from NFL Combine[13]

Kessler was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round (93rd overall) pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.[14]

On June 9, 2016, the Cleveland Browns signed Kessler to a four-year, $3.85 million contract with a signing bonus of $664,788.[15][16]

Kessler began the 2016 season as the third-string quarterback behind Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown. He became the backup quarterback after Griffin suffered an injury during the season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.[17] On September 25, 2016, Kessler made his first career start after McCown was injured the week prior. He finished his debut completing 21-of-33 attempts for 244 passing yards as the Browns lost to the Miami Dolphins in overtime 24–30.[18] The following week, he earned his second consecutive start against the Washington Redskins and completed 21-of-40 pass attempts for 223 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. Kessler also fumbled twice, threw his first career touchdown on a nine-yard pass to Terrelle Pryor, and has his first career interception, intercepted by Josh Norman during the Brown's 32–20 loss.

On October 16, 2016, Kessler completed 26-of-41 pass attempts for a season-high 335 yards and two touchdowns during a 28–26 loss to the Tennessee Titans.[19] The next game, he completed 9-of-11 pass attempts for 82 passing yards and suffered a concussion in the second quarter after Bengals' defensive tackle Domata Peko hit him during a pitch to tight end Gary Barnidge. The Browns went on to lose to the Cincinnati Bengals 31–17 and Kessler was replaced by fellow rookie Kevin Hogan.[20] In Week 11, he made his eighth start of his rookie season against the Pittsburgh Steelers and finished the game with 7-of-14 attempts while throwing an interception. In the third quarter, while being tackled by Steeler's linebacker Ryan Shazier, Kessler suffered another concussion after he was hit by Steeler's inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons. McCown started in Kessler's place the following week and Robert Griffin III became the starting quarterback after returning from injury during Week 14. In Week 16 against the San Diego Chargers, Kessler completed 2-of-3 passes for 11 yards after entering the game with ten minutes left in the fourth quarter after an injury to Griffin III.[21][22] The Browns beat the Chargers 20–17 to win their first game of the season.[22]

Kessler finished his rookie season with 1,380 passing yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions.[23]

NFL statistics[edit]

Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles Team record
Year Team G GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack Fum Lost W/L (as starter)
2016 CLE 9 8 128 195 65.6 1,380 7.1 6 2 92.3 11 18 1.6 0 21 4 1 0-8



  1. ^ Kessler named state's top player Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Goon, Kyle (October 23, 2014). "Utes’ Norris, USC’s Kessler go way back". Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ Facer, Dirk (October 23, 2015). "Utah football's Jared Norris, USC's Cody Kessler reunite as seniors". Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved October 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Colorado at Southern California Box Score, October 20, 2012". Sports Reference. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Cody Kessler, Max Wittek still competing to start for USC
  7. ^ USC football: Max Wittek, Cody Kessler get final audition
  8. ^ "USC routs Fresno State, 52–13, as freshmen shine". Los Angeles Times. August 30, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  9. ^ Thiry, Lindsey (October 18, 2014). "USC routs Colorado, 56–28, as Kessler throws for record seven touchdowns". LA Times. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Markazi, Arash (October 18, 2014). "Cody Kessler has record effort". Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ Plaschke, Bill (November 28, 2014). "USC's Cody Kessler looks like a 2015 Heisman Trophy candidate". LA Times. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Cody Kessler". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  13. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Cody Kessler". National Football League. 
  14. ^ Cabot, Mary Kay (April 29, 2016). "USC quarterback Cody Kessler drafted by Browns at No. 93". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  15. ^ " Cody Kessler contract". Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  16. ^ Cabot, Mary Kay (June 9, 2016). "Browns rookie QB Cody Kessler signs 4-year, $3.4 million contract". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  17. ^ Cabot, Mary Kay (September 12, 2016). "Robert Griffin III on IR for at least 8 games with broken bone in shoulder; Josh McCown to start". Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  18. ^ Maks, Patrick (September 25, 2016). "Cody Kessler, with support from hometown and teammates, shows promise in debut". Retrieved September 27, 2016. 
  19. ^ "NFL Player Profile: Cody Kessler". Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  20. ^ Mary Kay Cabot (October 23, 2016). "After Cody Kessler's concussion, Josh McCown might be ready to start vs. Jets". Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Cody Kessler". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  22. ^ a b Ruiter, Daryl (December 24, 2016). "A Christmas Miracle: Browns Hang On To Beat Chargers 20-17". Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Cody Kessler Advanced Stats and Metrics Profile: Efficiency". 
  24. ^ "Cody Kessler". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]