Editor’s note: NESN.com will profile intriguing prospects in the days leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. Next up: USC quarterback Cody Kessler.
Cody Kessler, quarterback, USC
6-foot-1, 220 pounds
Projected round: Seventh
2015 stats: 298-of-446 passing (66.8 completion percentage) for 3,536 yards and 29 touchdowns with seven interceptions
Testing numbers: 4.89-second 40-yard dash, 1.68-second 10-yard split, 29.5-inch vertical jump, 8-foot, 8-inch broad jump, 7.32-second three-cone drill, 4.00-second short shuttle
Strengths: Kessler ranked third among draft-eligible quarterbacks in Pro Football Focus’ accuracy percentage. Of his 148 incompletions, 21 were drops, 24 were thrown away, six were batted at the line and one was spiked. He was strong under pressure, as well, completing 72 of 136 passes. Pro Football Focus also notes Kessler is a smart passer “able to diagnose coverage … and get the ball where it needs to go at the right time.”
Weaknesses: Kessler doesn’t have a strong, accurate arm. He completed 16 of 56 passes over 20 yards but had seven touchdowns and just one interception. Kessler regressed as a senior, according to Pro Football Focus’ ratings. He had a better stat line in 2014, completing 69.7 percent of his passes for 3,826 yards and 39 touchdowns with five interceptions. Kessler isn’t a great athlete and is undersized for the position.
Patriots fit: Kessler isn’t a fit for the Patriots based on his athleticism, but he has big hands, and his skill set suits New England’s offense.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images