PFF grades USC’s Cody Kessler as top returning QB

Pro Football Focus released its grades for the top returning FBS quarterbacks and, in a move that some may see as surprising, the man at the top of the list was USC redshirt senior Cody Kessler.

Granted, Kessler did have an amazing season in his first year playing under Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian. On top of throwing for 3,826 yards and completing 69.7 percent of his passes, Kessler had 39 touchdowns to just five interceptions.

But it should also be noted that Kessler’s success can be attributed to Sarkisian’s system, which calls for snap decision making and lots of short passing, which makes one wonder why a dual-threat QB like TCU’s Trevone Boykin is placed below Kessler, not to mention other pocket passers like Jared Goff and Brandon Doughty. Moreover, Kessler isn’t overly athletic and is small for his position at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds and is definitely what most would call a “college” quarterback than a traditional one with a future in the pros.

But numbers are numbers and when looking at the other quarterbacks on this list, Kessler is at the top of the class on performance alone. His future in the NFL is up for debate, but all signs point to him having a great final season at USC in 2015.

USC opens the season at home against the Sun Belt’s Arkansas State Red Wolves on September 5.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Barrett, Cardale Jones splitting reps 50/50