As the Cleveland Browns prepare to face the Washington Redskins down in our nation’s capital, many around the league came away with a fairly positive impression of rookie quarterback Cody Kessler.
Kessler, the 93rd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of USC, completed 21-of-33 passes for 244 yards in a 30-24 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. Despite looking shaky in his first NFL series, he showed nearly unflappable poise and composure under center.
With the Browns seemingly destined to take a quarterback next spring, COULD they bypass taking either Toledo-born and Central Catholic-prepped DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame and Deshaun Watson of Clemson.
Kizer or Watson as I wrote earlier, or do they pass and see what Kessler can do in a full season as an NFL starter?
Yes! I said ball out!
If Kessler’s first NFL start is a small sample of what he can do with a more cohesive offensive line—and a competent kicker—then the Browns may have something in the former USC Trojan.
Yes, this is a way-too-early, over-reactionary knee-jerk opinion here, but humor me for a second.
While the Browns will be without the services of their best wide receiver in the troubled Josh Gordon, a new top dawg—that is not a typo—emerged down on the Hard Rock Stadium turf in all-purpose threat Terrelle Pryor, and the sure-handed Ricardo Louis.
Also keep in mind that fellow rookie Corey Coleman is still sidelined 4-6 weeks with a broken hand, but Rashard Higgins, Duke Johnson, Isaiah Crowell and Pro Bowl tight end Gary Barnidge present Kessler with some weapons to use.
The reputation of Kessler being an accurate passer from his days on the West Coast were proven true as he displayed a knack for making completions in tight windows, by making close to 64 percent of his passes (63.6) for a respectable passer rating of 85.9
Again, such a thought like this may be considered way too premature at this juncture for Browns fans, but if Kessler proves to be the real deal, perhaps the Browns might entertain the idea of addressing other needs such as defensive line and offensive tackle and in the secondary.
He may not be Cleveland’s latest draft demon in Philadelphia Eagles wunderkind Carson Wentz, but Kessler sure as hell ain’t top overall pick in Jared Goff.
Let that sink in for a second.
In what may be a glorified 12-game audition for the most dangerous job in America to be “the guy” under center in Cleveland, Kessler may have started off ever so slowly, but if his play after that dreadful first series down on South Beach is any indication, then Hue Jackson just may be right about him after all.