Cleveland Browns: Grading the quarterbacks after the preseason opener

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cody Kessler didn’t receive much playing time in the win, but he did lead a touchdown drive which is more than Osweiler can say.

Kessler finished 5-10 for 47 yards and like Osweiler, he didn’t throw a touchdown or an interception.

Last night’s quarterback rotation was odd considering Kessler was named the man to beat by Hue Jackson during the offseason. But any Browns fan keeping track of this team on a daily basis knew Kessler wouldn’t hold the job for long.

He held the starting job in title only, thanks to being the only returning quarterback on the roster. Kevin Hogan was here last year as well, but he is not in this current competition.

The main criticism of Kessler is his lack of arm strength, and one play from Thursday night illustrated the problem.

More from Dawg Pound Daily

The Browns had the ball at midfield with just seconds remaining in the half. After three incomplete passes, Hue Jackson decided to let Kessler air it out as the half expired.

Now most quarterbacks would buy some time and whip the ball toward the end zone, hoping for a miracle. Kessler bought time, but merely lobbed the ball out-of-bounds instead of trying the Hail Mary throw. Browns fans watching at home may have been disappointed, but there was zero chance Kessler was getting the ball to the end zone.

Kessler had a good showing in his rookie season, but he appears to be third on the depth chart this season, the same place he was to start the 2016 season.

He continued to protect the ball and complete short passes behind a weak offensive line Thursday night, but he doesn’t have the necessary qualities to be a starter. Only one player on the roster has the upside to become a legitimate starting quarterback.

Grade: B-