Thanks to Robert Griffin III being placed on injured reserve and journeyman backup Josh McCown is now the starter. Rookie Cody Kessler‘s developmental clock has sped up dramatically as a result.
Kessler, a third-round pick out of USC, drew the ire of many Browns fans after being selected 93rd overall over Ohio-born draft prospects such as Connor Cook and Cardale Jones out of Michigan State and Ohio State, who would be later selected by the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills respectively.
Renowned for his accuracy at USC is completing 67.5 percent of his passes in his three years as a starter, new head coach Hue Jackson answered questions over the pick of the 6’1 215-pound native of Bakersfield, California in asking them to trust the selection of the former man of Troy.
It says something for a quarterback such as Kessler at such as renowned national powerhouse such as USC that has had recent Heisman Trophy winners such as Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart to complete over 800 passes (851) pass for over 10,000 yards (10,339) for 80-plus touchdowns (88).
Despite his gaudy accomplishments in college, Kessler has made a less-than-inspiring first impression on Browns fans.
Thanks to running out the back of the endzone in a pre-season game vs. the Green Bay Packers and the early successes of fellow rookies such as Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott have left Browns fans in anguish and wondering if their beloved team once again made a mistake in passing on a potential starter for him instead.
What makes the Kessler development issue even more tenuous is the classic need for I-want-him-to-start-now impatience in such as a tough-luck, snake-bitten, and impatient fan base such as the Browns. They have a proverbial graveyard littered with once-promising quarterbacks such as Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy—and more or less—in Johnny Manziel, who were thrust into starting before they were ready.
Suppose that McCown struggles or gets injured?
Yup! Kessler is the next man up, and considering the Browns horrible record of developing rookie quarterbacks and a fan base desperate to find its savior, and Kessler is likely to become the latest victim of ‘The Factory of Sadness.’
Perhaps, the Browns are better equipped to develop Kessler the proper way in bringing him along slowly, in having him learn from McCown and drafting playmakers such as Biletnikoff Award winner in Corey Coleman out of Baylor, the league’s unofficial wide receiver factory, and finally addressing the much-ignored wide receiver position.
Kessler could be the answer in Cleveland or he could not. However, based on the inept fragility of RGIII and McCown being on the wrong side of 30 in what is a young man’s game, Browns fans will get their answer sooner rather than later on whether or not he is the guy. This will prove if Cleveland made the right choice after all in the 2016 NFL draft.
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