Coming into this year’s NFL Draft, Ryan Nassib of Syracuse University is one of the top quarterbacks available. The senior quarterback is coming off his best season as a third year starter for the Orangemen. Over the past two seasons Nassib has completed 62.4 percent of his passes, while also throwing for 3,749 yards this year (career high). While I don’t expect him to sneak into the first round, he could definitely move up to an early second round selection with strong combine and pro day workouts.
6’2” 223 lbs
Nassib comes in as an experienced quarterback starting three of his four years at Syracuse, having made progressions in his game each season. Going from a junior to a senior his pass attempts, touchdowns, passing yards and interceptions all went up. Now the interceptions are a misleading stat due to an increase in pass attempts. Last season Nassib averaged one interception for every 46 attempts while this year he was only picked off once every 47 attempts while throwing 56 more passes.
This season he increased his total yards by over 1,000 yards with an average of eight yards per attempt which was an increase of 1.5 yards an attempt. This was partly because he would take more shots down field. One aspect of his game that scouts will love is his above average arm strength that allows him to make all of the passes required to start at the next level.
Even though Nassib isn’t the flashy read option quarterback that the league has fallen in love with, he isn’t a statue either. He climbs the pocket while defensive ends are crashing hard on the pocket. With his poise and mental toughness he will stand in the pocket to complete the pass, even if it collapses around him.
One knock on Nassib will be that he is very inconsistent at times. He does show flashes of how great a quarterback he can become at the NFL level, however he has been hurt by his receivers dropping easy passes. While that has been an issue, Nassib has been known to over throw his receivers down field. He will need to work on film study and understanding defensive schemes as he will throw into coverage. On more than one occasion, I have seen him throw to a hot receiver while the safety or linebacker jumps the route.
While size is not much of an issue in today’s NFL game, Nassib is 6’2” which shouldn’t be an issue. Although some team scouts may want a quarterback that has more height, let’s keep in mind players such as Tony Romo, Robert Griffin, III. and Andy Dalton are all in this range. What is more concerning is Nassib’s natural instinct to turn his back to the line of scrimmage after taking a snap. What this will do it make it harder on him to pick up where his receivers are on the field, especially in timing routes.
Ryan Nassib should receive a second round grade from many scouts with his mechancis, arm strength and poise in the pocket. One team that I expect to take a long look at him is the Buffalo Bills, having just hired his college coach Doug Marone to take over for the recently departed Chan Gailey.