Agent Orange: The rise of NFL draft prospect Ryan Nassib
College football season is finally over, and NFL Teams and dynasty owners are just beginning the talent evaluation process, as we await events like the NFL combine, and literally thousands of draft related articles and commentary await us. NFL draft fans will get reacquainted with draft gurus such as Mel Kiper Jr. and Mike Mayock these next few months. In dynasty leagues, excited owners get a chance to help improve and build their own dynasties with rookie drafts that are often held right after the conclusion of the NFL draft. In this particular column, I’d like to highlight Ryan Nassib, a rookie quarterback that seems to be flying a bit under the radar right now, but could end up being quite a bargain in the NFL draft, and in corresponding dynasty rookie drafts. In this column, we will attempt to explain why dynasty owners should have an “Orange Crush” on Syracuse Quarterback Ryan Nassib.
The Syracuse football program has gone through resurgence for the past few years under Head Coach Doug Marrone and 3 year starting quarterback Ryan Nassib. Syracuse had been one of the worst teams in the NCAA prior to the arrivals of Marrone and Nassib, as they were known as the doormat in the Big East as recently as 4 years ago. Coach Doug Marrone and Nassib helped lead the Orange to consecutive bowl games to end their Syracuse careers, and recently a big win over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl just a few weeks ago. The success of the Syracuse program had really raised the profile of Head Coach Doug Marrone, as he just landed an NFL Head Coaching job with the Buffalo Bills, and meanwhile, Nassib is currently going through the NFL draft process, and just recently competed in College football’s Senior Bowl. The 2012 season was critical for Ryan Nassib, as he was not terribly high on NFL radars before the season began.
Ryan Nassib stands at 6 foot 3, weighing around 230 pounds, and a large bulked up frame that is NFL ready. Nassib’s muscular body and dedication to fitness should also really come in handy when he reaches NFL competition. Nassib’s physical frame is very similar to current NFL superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, which certainly cannot be a bad thing.
While Ryan Nassib certainly has the body type to make it as an NFL quarterback, he also has several other positive factors to build on. Nassib has a very strong arm, and his throws have often been described as “bullets” at times, and have quite a bit of zip and power. Mobility also works as a strength for Nassib, as he has the scrambling ability to move around the pocket, avoid the sack, and move the chains when necessary, although I’d still classify Nassib as primarily a pocket passer. Nassib has excellent leadership, intelligence and awareness on and off the football field, so the intangibles are definitely in his favor, and could certainly come in handy during the NFL interview process. Here is a video of Ryan Nassib in a tremendous performance in defeating Louisville earlier this season; I think this video really does a nice job at highlighting Nassib’s strengths while defeating a very tough opponent.
Ryan Nassib certainly has a cannon for an arm, but sometimes it has led him to trust his arm too much force difficult throws into dangerous situations. If we translated his throwing skills into baseball terms, Nassib has an excellent fastball, but needs to work on his changeup and other off speed throws, and perhaps take some speed off certain throws and make things easier for some receivers, as receivers just a few yards away don’t often need a bullet thrown to them. Nassib also can be a bit reckless with his body, and take on oncoming tacklers a bit too much, where he would ultimately be better off conserving his body and sliding or running out of bounds. You can get a closer look at what parts of his game Nassib needs to work on in this video here, highlighting his performance against USC in a game last season.
Senior Bowl 2013
The Senior Bowl this past week didn’t do very much to improve the draft stock of Ryan Nassib, and frankly didn’t help out too many other quarterbacks in the game as well. It gets tricky to evaluate any of these quarterbacks based on limited action in a Senior Bowl All-Star game, so I wouldn’t sweat too much over any bad performances you see here, as we’re dealing with quarterbacks getting paired up with brand new teammates on a very short term basis. Any quarterback playing in this particular game has to learn to work with new receivers and a new offensive line in a very short amount of time, and expect to work well together as a team. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a similar column on Miami U. Quarterback Zac Dysert, who in addition to Nassib, also didn’t have a standout game in the Senior Bowl this past week, however, the experience of working with NFL coaches, scouts, and fellow NFL prospects for a week straight should end up giving these rookie quarterbacks some good experience to build on. Nassib and the others will now turn their attention to the February NFL combine, as the next opportunity to rise up and improve their draft stock.
What about the Buffalo Bills??
As stated earlier, Doug Marrone, a.k.a. Ryan Nassib’s Head Coach at Syracuse has just taken the Head Coaching job of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Speculation is high that Marrone and Nassib could reunite in Buffalo, as obviously things have worked out well with the two of them together thus far. With Buffalo looking to move on from Ryan Fitzpatrick, it becomes likely that the Bills will be looking to add another quarterback sometime in this coming draft. I could certainly see The Bills taking Nassib sometime in the 2nd round of the draft, as that seems to be the ideal fit and slot in the draft for both parties. I would also caution those that would assume that Buffalo would take Nassib, as many times obvious pairings like this don’t always end up happening, and it is certainly possible that Marrone may not be as high on Nassib as an NFL prospect as one would think, or maybe is looking to try a new quarterback. It would certainly give Nassib a dynasty boost however, if he does indeed land in Buffalo, as the job security and familiarity with the offensive scheme of Doug Marrone could certainly give Nassib a huge advantage entering the NFL. Nassib recently called a possible reunion with Marrone “a match made in heaven”, and certainly could make Heaven “a place on earth”.
NFL Draft Prediction
I predict that Ryan Nassib lands somewhere in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL draft, with a chance to be an NFL starting quarterback sometime in the 2013 season. The talent and intangibles of Nassib I think will be seen as very attractive to some NFL team, and I expect him to be drafted by the mid 2nd round. As mentioned earlier, Buffalo is an option, but that is just one possibility, as I’m certain other teams are showing interest right now, and may want to move ahead of the Bills and other teams to grab Ryan Nassib.
Dynasty Rookie Draft Outlook
Ryan Nassib, like most quarterbacks in this year’s draft, should be available in the 2nd round of dynasty rookie drafts, and quite possibly the 3rd round or later. Savvy dynasty owners could certainly spend a 2nd rounder on Nassib, and make out well, and it is certainly possible that he could be had at a bargain price in some rookie drafts. Nassib can be seen as a QB2 with the potential to reach higher than that with the right development and situation. Dynasty owners could certainly improve their rosters by drafting Ryan Nassib, a.k.a. “Agent Orange”.