Now that the sticker shock has worn off on Ryan Nassib’s All-American anointment from the folks at Pro Football Weekly, it’s time to look at which clubs would provide the best potential fit.
The good news for Syracuse’s all-time leading passer is this: He is entering the league at a time when having rookie QBs start immediately is trendy and his draft class is a bit light on the signal caller front.
The bad news: Thanks to this season’s saturation of talented rookie QBs, very few teams find themselves in the market for a new one.
So where should Nassib and 2012’s 3,619 passing yards and 24 TDs land?
Let’s rank his top five potential NFL homes from "most likely" to "dark horse. "
1. Kansas City Chiefs:
Perhaps the obvious selection, the Chiefs have been teasing their loyal fans with campaign promises of what Matt Cassel would accomplish since signing him in 2009. Outside of a satisfactory 3,116-yard performance in 2010, Cassel has not given Arrowhead much to celebrate.
Cassel lost the job to Brady Quinn last month and Quinn is just begging to lose the job to someone else.
With Nassib being one of the top QB options in the draft, the Chiefs could very well be interested in brining him in and potentially letting him start from day one.
Unfortunately, the weak class around him could make Nassib an early round selection. The Chiefs need to do some serious rebuilding and perhaps won’t be keen on spending such a valuable pick on a QB that may still be a project at the next level.
If Kansas City doesn’t make a push for one of the better veteran backups in the league, they’ll remain a top contender for Nassib’s services come April.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars:
Perhaps the only team more in need of a QB than Kansas City would be the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unlike the Chiefs, the franchise does not have a long and rich history to fall back on. Ridiculously low fan attendance and what appears to be a failed venture with Blaine Gabbert have put the Jaguars in the league’s basement.
Chad Henne isn’t even playing well enough to enter next season as a temporary starter. If Jacksonville is willing to spend another early draft selection on a QB so soon after whiffing on Gabbert, then Nassib could very well start Week 1 for the Jaguars.
3. San Diego Chargers:
Remember when analysts blasted the Giants for dealing a bushel of early draft picks and Phillip Rivers (drafted solely for the purpose of trading) to the Chargers for Eli Manning?
While watching New York take home two Lombardi Trophies since 2004, the Chargers have failed to turn their windfall of draft selections into anything more than one losing effort in the AFC Championship game. Should Norv Turner get the axe after yet another disappointing season in San Diego, Rivers will be two head coaches (and likely one GM) removed from the one that drafted him.
A new regime will likely be looking for a fresh start. The Chargers currently sit at 5-8.
4. New York Jets:
Could the Pennsylvania native really be headed to the Big Apple’s "favorite" dumpster fire? It’s not farfetched.
Despite his Week 13 benching (which led to a Greg McElroy engineered victory), Mark Sanchez isn’t likely to lose his job as New York’s starter before the beginning of next season.
Sanchez signed a three-year extension last March on a deal that still had two years left to go. The Tebow fiasco aside, Mark’s grip on the starting spot is nowhere near where he hoped it would be by this point in the season.
The extension, coupled with the fact that Rex Ryan opted to start him immediately following McElroy’s debut, suggests that the USC alum will retain his top depth chart real estate heading into the summer of 2013.
This could potentially create an ideal situation for a rookie QB that may need time to develop in a pro system. If the Jets improbable campaign to reach the postseason fails, Sanchez’s room for error in 2013 will be razor thin. The Tebow experiment is not likely to continue and that opens up room for another signal caller on the roster.
The watered down QB draft class will likely encourage teams with promising (but raw) backups like Houston’s T.J. Yates and Washington’s Kirk Cousins to attempt to make trade deals with QB needy clubs. The Jets could very well get in on that action by dangling McElroy on the block.
The Jets aren’t the most likely landing spot for Nassib but should he wind up there, he could find himself in a prime position to claim a starting job before the end of his rookie contract.
5. St. Louis Rams:
At the age of 25, Sam Bradford has by no means worn out his welcome in St. Louis. He contributed immediately, kept his interception tally down, and has provided a needed spark to a home market that suffered through Marc Bulger.
Bradford’s best season thus far came during his rookie campaign in 2010 where the former Sooner racked up 3,512 passing yards and 18 TDs. His Rams fell one win short of the playoffs.
Sitting at 6-6-1, the Rams still have a slim chance of squeaking into the postseason but the outlook isn’t bright.
Should Nassib head West to Missouri, he won’t necessarily find himself competing for a starting spot. However, should the Rams offense revert back to 2011 form (finishing 2-14) in the next few years, Bradford’s job security may not be so certain.