Kessler edges Boykin as our No. 1 QB

Trevone Boykin was named to ESPN's preseason All-American team, but our numbers show Cody Kessler should be on top.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Kessler edges Boykin as our No. 1 QB


ESPN has announced their preseason All-American team, and as is always the case, those who missed out generate as many talking points as those who made it. One snub that comes to mind is Cody Kessler, USC’s prolific quarterback, and the top-ranked quarterback in our top 50 college football players, who was overlooked in favor of TCU’s Trevone Boykin.

It may partly be a numbers game, since with just one QB slot to fill in the All-American team, someone had to lose out. That being said, Kessler’s case to be that one QB is strong. He finished 2014 with a 95 overall PFF rating, and a 98.1 rating in the passing game — both of which led the nation.

Kessler was both hugely productive and smart with the football, throwing just five interceptions and finishing 2014 with a 2.3 big-time throw to turnover-worthy play ratio. He led all quarterbacks with an 80.3 accuracy percentage, was second with 56.9 percent accuracy on deep passes, and ranked third with 71 percent accuracy under pressure.

It’s not that Boykin isn’t worthy of All-American status — he enjoyed a terrific 2014 season, in which he led the Horned Frogs right to the cusp of the College Football Playoff, rushing for 707 yards, passing for 3,901 more, and accounting for 41 total touchdowns. And while he’s no match for Kessler as a passer, his 82.1 passing grade is still impressive.

Regardless of Boykin’s feats, however, with only one All-American berth at quarterback, we’d choose Kessler. With a talented team around him, and a meaty schedule to navigate, Kessler has the ability keep the Trojans in the hunt for the College Football Playoff and the platform to earn All-American honors.

| Analyst

Kevin has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, with a particular focus on college football.

  • Johnny

    Wish you guys had a list of ratings for college players like you do for the pros.