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USC QB Cody Kessler looks like a good backup plan for the Redskins

Apr 5, 2016, 12:42 PM EDT


Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 23 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.

Cody Kessler

Height: 6-1
Weight: 220
40-yard dash: 4.89

Projected draft round: 6-7


What they’re saying

Can orchestrate an offense with confidence and accuracy when operating from a clean pocket, but doesn’t appear to have the mentality of a player willing to take the risks necessary to strike with big plays often enough on the pro level. Kessler has moments where it is easy to like him on tape, but the traits and tape look more like those of a good, career backup than playoff starter.

Lance Zierlein,

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins are very tight with secrets during the lead up to the draft but Jay Gruden has expressed a desire to land a developmental quarterback, either in the draft or as an undrafted free agent. It will be surprising if the Redskins go through seven rounds without taking a quarterback to serve as the third-string QB behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, particularly if Scot McCloughan is able to cut some deals and pick up extra late-round draft picks.

Kessler has the traits you are looking for should you have to press your third stringer into action. He is accurate from the pocket, completing 71 percent of his passes from there. Kessler isn’t prone to making too many mistakes; he threw just 12 interceptions his junior and senior years combined. And he won’t try to do too much; he knows his limits.

Potential issues: As is normally the case with any quarterback who is available late on Saturday afternoon in the draft, Kessler has plenty of flaws. He’s 6-1, not as tall as you’d like a pocket passer to be. If he gets chased out of the pocket his accuracy drops precipitously.

Bottom line: The tough choice the Redskins have to make when it comes to choosing their developmental quarterback. Do they want someone who can be a career backup and provide a younger a cheaper alternative to McCoy or another veteran in a year or two? Or do they want someone who might serve as an alternative to Cousins should they be unable to sign him to a long-term contract?

If they want the latter, they probably should look for a quarterback earlier, perhaps in the third or fourth round. But it they want a QB who can become a reliable backup the someone like Kessler is their guy.

In his own words

On how his game translates the NFL:

The mental side for me is obviously big. Recognizing defenses. Obviously everyone can throw, everyone can play at the next level and has the arm to make it. But for me I always wanted to be a step ahead of everyone on the mental side of it. Along with my accuracy and my decision making. That’s something we were graded on at USC, and I love watching guys like Drew Brees who is so efficient with the football. His completion percentage is always in the upper 60s. I always wanted to model my game after guys that make the right plays and made good decisions. That’s somehting I want to bring with me in the NFL.

Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

  1. John - Apr 5, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    Not big but has enough arm and accurate. Someone who can watch and learn and eventually replace McCoy.

    • Mr.moneylover - Apr 5, 2016 at 4:01 PM

      Colt McCoy will be here for three years…its sad to say this but if they don’t pay kirk cousins now and he have another good season I don’t think redskins will be able to afford kirk cousins next year and don’t think jay gruden is scared to let colt McCoy start next season and I’m not saying that’s a good idea cause McCoy is injury prone

  2. renhoekk2 - Apr 5, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Like Kessler and Sudfeld. Would be willing to take a look at Rudock or Coker as UDFA also.

    • ET - Apr 5, 2016 at 5:21 PM

      Someone like Rudock has very limited upside, but could be a good pickup as a UDFA. I like Hogan from Stanford a lot as a potential late-round selection. He’s Colt McCoy-like in that he’s smart and level-headed but lacking top-end physical skills. Hogan should be a quality backup for years.

      • renhoekk2 - Apr 6, 2016 at 10:01 AM

        I like Ruddock because Harbaugh had him at Michigan and he played in a pro offense and he improved dramatically as the season progressed. Same for Coker. Give me guys with some smarts and just enough ability that spent their college time in a pro offense. Hogan is another guy also that fits that criteria.

  3. Mr.moneylover - Apr 5, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    I was thinking this will be jay gruden kinda guy…but they met with QB cardale Jones …strange or its strategy

    • sidepull - Apr 5, 2016 at 3:59 PM

      Cardale Jones if I had to pick

  4. Jax4 - Apr 5, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    Wouldn’t waste a draft pick on Jones. Don’t think he is going to be drafted.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 5, 2016 at 11:05 PM

      Cardale Jones will be drafted. Maybe higher than we’d like to pay for a development QB.

      But he will be drafted before the 6th round.

  5. goback2rfk - Apr 5, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    Pass on Cody Kessler

  6. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 5, 2016 at 7:52 PM

    Post on defensive tackle prospects from a Chargers blogger.

    • sidepull - Apr 6, 2016 at 6:50 AM

      Thx. Good quick read.

  7. troylok - Apr 6, 2016 at 2:11 AM

    It would be my thought that you don’t draft a QB that you consider will never rise higher than backup. You can’t coach a person taller and you can’t make the guy more agile. I’d say what they need to do is find a very raw player that has all of the physical tools but maybe the mechanics are a little off. Draft that guy,coach him up and have him ready to start in a few years. Lather, rinse, repeat until the Redskins have enough QB’s in the pipeline that the can start making trades. That’s kind of like the New England model.

  8. Mr.moneylover - Apr 6, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    QB Kevin Hogan from stanford is another guy who I think can be a great backup QB and possibly start at some point hes originally from Virginia Archives

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