Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE
With the regular season complete, it's time for NFL Scouts to start honing in on collegiate players ready for the next level. Once again, there are a handful of Syracuse players who have been on draft radars all year and climbing or falling down the charts. Before the postseason bowl, we'll take a look at where these guys stand right now and keep track of them until the big day in April. First up...QB Ryan Nassib.
Player: QB Ryan Nassib
Vitals: 6-2, 229 lbs, 22 YO
Regular Season Stats: 3,619 yards, 24 TD 9 INT, 63.2 completion %, QB Rating: 97.9
Strengths: Good size, Lots of power on throws, Shown good pocket presence, Consistent performance all season
Weaknesses: Lacks touch ball, deep ball has been under thrown, doesn't take zip off passes when needed
Current projections: CBS- No. 1 BE, 43rd Overall, Matt Miller (Bleacher Report) - No.8 QB, No. 91 overall,
Big Moment: Defeating Louisville at home to grab scouts' attention, comeback drive against Missouri on the road.
What the TNIAAM Crew says:
Chris Daughtry: On the one hand, I sometimes watch Ryan Nassib and I say, "Man, he's like a young Drew Brees". Then, on the other hand, sometimes I look at Ryan Nassib and say, "Man, he's like a young Rex Grossman." I'm not sure to make of his NFL prospects. If you had asked me at the beginning of the season when he was putting up huge numbers...and losing, I would have said he wouldn't be drafted at all. Playstation stats only matter when getting W's. If you had asked me during that rough middle stretch of the season when he seemed to be the weak link, I would have laughed at the mere idea of him being drafted. But now that the season is essentially over it's easier to take the long view of Ryan's 2012 campaign and career, I'll buy him getting drafted. Quarterback is tied with hockey goalkeeper as the most important individual position in American sports. For that reason, NFL execs will reach for a QB more so than any other position. That'll get Ryan in the door. I'm not sure if I buy the idea of him as a first round pick. Even if he is a top 10, or even top 5, QB in this draft class, the first round is a huge stretch. I'd say something in the 3rd-5th round range is more likely. It primarily depends on what he does at the combine and in workouts. If a team thinks he has the tools and the smarts to be molded into an effective NFL QB, they'll take the chance. But if they feel he's reached his ceiling, they won't. I think Ryan's degree in finance will serve him just as well.
Matt McClusky: It took four years, but Ryan Nassib was finally able to reap the rewards of having Doug Marrone as his coach. OK, so Nassib benefited from Marrone throughout the his career, but, man, did his stock rise during 2012. The kid who couldn't beat out a Duke point guard for the starting quarterback position at Syracuse University has become a legit player, one with NFL potential. As far as what that means for his draft status, I haven't the foggiest. Quarterback is one of the most difficult positions to try and determine. And for someone like Nassib who didn't look like an NFL player throughout the majority of his time on the Hill, but for just a fraction, he looked like a potential All Pro player, I wouldn't be surprised to see him go in the draft or go completely undrafted. At this point, coming off a widely successful senior campaign, I'll say Nassib's stock is high enough he'll get some looks come Combine. That should lead to an NFL contract, be it through the draft or free agency. Nassib will never start for a Super Bowl contender, but he could be a quality backup for just about any team in the league. And given how his career started, that's an amazing accomplishment for one of the best QBs in Syracuse history.
Sean Keeley: At the beginning of the season, I'd have said it's crazy to even discuss this. Now...I'm pretty sure he's got a legit shot to be a 3rd or 4th round draft pick. Nassib isn't the biggest guy and he's lacking something in the arm strength department but he's shown a great fastball and an ability to grasp an pro-style offense. He's the kind of prospect who will make or break himself during the combine and team workouts. And again...I'm still shocked we're talking about NFL draft pick Ryan Nassib.
Andrew Pregler: I think it's safe to say that I echo almost everyone's thoughts when I say there was a transformation from the start of the season to now with Ryan. I've always said that Nassib will be a decent NFL backup: he won't lose you the game but he won't win you the game. Maybe with a great QB coach he becomings a Chad Henne type starter, but the ceiling really wasn't very high with Ryan. Now, I'm not an NFL scout but to me, that ceiling hasn't raised very much but Ryan is the benefactor of some really luck happenstance. First off, this year is a weak QB draft. Geno Smith is the top prospect and he's really not anything more than a poor man's RGIII. So while Nassib may not be the most impressive QB anyone's ever seen, he's safe enough to be considered a legitimate day two pick. Secondly, if the 49ers-Steelers foils havent' shown the value of a solid number quarterback, nothing else will. Backups are necessary in a QB driven league. I'm not ragging on Nassib: he's got tremendous intangibles and has the physical makeup of a NFL quarterback. I just really think someone is going to reach for him based off circumstances, not ability.
Consensus: Nassib has flown up draft charts and put up the numbers to back it up. No matter how skeptical Syracuse fans may be, NFL scouts right now like what they see. The combine will definitely give us a clearer picture, but Nassib will be drafted. Off board by 4th Round.