Browns coach Hue Jackson announced Friday he chose Kessler over veteran Josh McCown.
Jackson said the Browns need to find out whether Kessler can be their quarterback of the future. They're armed with two first-round picks in next year's draft.
"That's a fair assessment because that's why he's playing because I need to know," Jackson said. "I don't want to just say if he does great that doesn't mean that we're not going to draft a quarterback because I think you've got to always have quarterbacks. You've got to keep taking shots until you have the guy that you feel is going to do what you need done."
There were three games this season in which Kessler attempted 30 or more passes. In those games, Duke Johnson has averaged 5.0 catches, so he's a safe play in PPR formats. Over the past two years, Gary Barnidge's yardage with and without Kessler are about the same, though he hasn't been the same factor in the red zone this season. Terrelle Pryor has averaged 7.3 catches for 88 yards and 1.0 touchdown in three full games with Kessler, so no problems there. Corey Coleman played mostly with Robert Griffin III early in the season, so he's something of a wild card.