Bills, Marrone Passing on Nassib in NFL Draft is Best Thing for Syracuse

Had Nassib gone to Buffalo, it would’ve been more trouble than it’s worth.

The Bills passing on Ryan Nassib is actually the best thing to happen to Syracuse football.

Well, make it the second best thing. The greatest outcome of Buffalo and Doug Marrone taking the SU quarterback in the first round last night would’ve been an NFL dynasty. Had Nassib guided the Bills to multiple championships and grown into a Hall of Famer, the Orange braintrust would’ve been hailed as heroes, and SU would’ve reaped the rewards.

But this being Buffalo, that was never likely to happen. So the Bills taking E.J. Manuel instead of Nassib actually helps Syracuse, because it frees Nassib from the inevitable “coddling” jab which would’ve followed him under Marrone.

While some have suggested Ryan’s shortcomings must be really bad since even his own coach chose elsewhere, that merely becomes a footnote if he succeeds somewhere else. If he grows into a solid, dependable starting quarterback in Arizona, Oakland, Cleveland or Jacksonville, he did it on his own merit, without “Daddy Syracuse” helping him along.

Leading up to the draft, it began to sound inevitable Buffalo would take Nassib. It essentially undermined him. No one projected him as a first-rounder to the Jags. If he was going anywhere, it had to be with his old coach. And thus, because of his old coach.

See, we all know Nassib’s shortcomings. We’ve all watched him take snaps for SU three years. No doubt his play took off this past season. He became a leader, a gun slinger, and SU was able to (gasp!) outscore opponents. But for awhile before that it got ugly. Real ugly.

Nassib’s first season starting in 2010, the Orange scored 13, 14, 19, 13, 6, and 7 points in six of its final eight regular season games. In 2011, who could forget the 19-16 2OT stinker against Rutgers? Or Nassib throwing two INTs and getting sacked three times in the loss at UConn? Or the five game collapse to end the year where SU never scored more than 21 points? In that stretch Nassib threw for seven scores, but tossed five picks and was sacked 17 times.

This is not to put all of the blame on Ryan for those losses. The coaching staff never seemed to have a consistent plan, Marrone appeared far too conservative, and the defense still had to give up all those points. Nassib became a dangerous quarterback in ’12, and he was saddled with an ever-changing offensive philosophy under Nate Hackett and Marrone. He threw for nearly three times the touchdowns as interceptions (70-28) in his career.

But those of us watching SU know, unlike some of the pre-draft hype, Nassib wasn’t some can’t miss, stud NFL prospect rifling darts and leading the Orange offense up and down the field. That some believed he is the best QB prospect in the draft says more about the class of signal-callers than his greatness.

He could very well become a legitimate starter in the league, but Buffalo’s first round pick could’ve hung a noose around his neck. Had he gone to the Bills, after every interception or loss, critics would say he was only starting because of his coach. They would yelp that he never deserved that high pick, and was plucked like a teacher’s pet because all his teachers happened to run the team.

Instead of dealing with that weekly scrutiny, he’ll now be perceived as earning his way. A first-round pick has to play at some point his rookie year in the NFL. A top 10 selection usually plays by midway through the season. Was Nassib really ready for that? As a second-rounder (or later) Nassib can watch, learn and prepare. He has a sharp mind, and has proven he can absorb plenty of playbook schematics. Time will do him plenty of good. Patience with him (like not playing freshman year) will be incredibly valuable. Throwing him to the AFC East wolves this season, hand-picked by his old college coach, was a recipe for disaster.

Marrone might win in Buffalo with Manuel. Nassib may become a Pro Bowl quarterback. And if that happens, Syracuse football will warm in the afterglow. But doing it together it was less likely than doing it apart.

Posted: D.A.

33 Comments on this Post

  1. AlbanyCuse

    Great article and perspective D.A. Will certainly be looking forward to seeing where he ends up tonight!

    Also, let’s celebrate the 2nd year in a row of having a first rounder drafted with Justin Pugh!

  2. How dumb are the Bills for taking EJ Manuel with the 16th pick – why would you not trade that pick and move down?? They obviously really liked him, but NOBODY else in the first round was going to draft him. It would make sense to me that another team would have wanted to move up and trade their first round spot with Buffalo and give them a later round pick as compensation. They realistically could have gotten him with one of their second round picks of 41 and 46 – because he would have still been on the board!

  3. orangeinva

    Is Nassib quick enough on his feet//does he have the instincts to move out of the pocket to create the pro game?

    Can he throw the deep ball accurately?

    I’m afraid the answers are no and no.
    Ryan was solid his last 8 games at SU, a great leader throughout his career.
    But the game is different on Sundays..much different.

  4. @orangeinva

    100% agreed. He does not translate to the NFL very well and all because his former coach is an NFL coach doesnt mean he has to make him his QB

    Although I dont agree with the Manuel pick, I am glad Buffalo/Marrone did not pick Nassib. It could only have turned out badly for both of them.

    Maybe Marrone should do what the Redskins did last year and draft another one in the 3rd round. More options is never a bad thing.

  5. Nassib was inherited by Hackett and Marrone. He was a GRob guy. Could be they made due with what they had, but never really felt he was the prototype for their system. This was a chance for them to hand pick someone they felt had the tools and clearly they could coach him up tothe system, after all, look at what they did with Nassib. I like the guy’s play, but it’s possible Marrone didn’t. He did bring in Paulus. As to the D losing any games, from the late GRob era to the late Marrone era, the O killed the energy of the D with consistent 3 and outs for a long time. The D was gassed at the end of games as a result and couldn’t get off the field. Once the running game was established, QB play and defensive play stepped up, because the 3 and outs were cut and the opposing D had to back off the box (O-line play improved too).

  6. If Nassib fails to make it at the next level, think of what that says for the state of the PROGRAM. I don’t mean to sound as though I am wishing bad on him, I hope he shoves it in Marrone’s face by succeeding, but if not, and his SU team won 8 in spite of him…

  7. Smitty Section 129

    I hope NASSIB has a great career. And write this down, 2-3 years from now Marrone on his press conference after being let go by the Bills “My biggest mistake was not drafting Ryan Nassib”. I was hoping to root for the bills to do well this year, but to be honest the way Marrone has screwed SU this past year it is going to be tough. Marrone was like the Colts leaving Baltimore he was here one day and left the next. Nassib was Marrones ticket to the NFL and that was how he showed respect for him. Ryan go to many Pro Bowls and Dougie hope you end up back at Cortland. Glad to have Shafer.

  8. dougie was not a Nassib kind of guy at all. Bringing in the mistake called Paulus showed that. Ryan improved himself with help from Hackett not dougie!! Thank god he didn’t get picked by Buffalo. He wouldn’t any way because dougie is there. The book is not written yet on Ryan’s story in the NFL, but staying out of the arm-pit of the world=Buffalo is a blessing.

    PS I’m a huge GGGGGGGGGGGGG-MAN fan and love Pugh but he’s no 1st rounder. The GGGG-Men grabbed him because of need not quality!!

  9. Russell MacEachern

    Well at least as a Jint fan I get to enjoy watching JP anchor the middle of our OL for the next 10 years in spite of “alligator” arms which in his case is a joke cause hes a oldtime football player!…Nassib will go early to mid 4th and surprise people down the line but he was NEVER a 1st rounder as much as I like him!Should of been a late 2nd to mid 3rd IMO!I think Glennon will be a BUST!!Ty Wilson is the best QB not drafted yet including Ryan!

  10. Russell MacEachern

    @Terry,yea JP was a slight reach but the Jints had to shore up their OL for Eli and the running game and after the early run on OL his versatility was needed….he was the best value left at OL at 19 and he’ll make us proud!!What I did’nt like reading in the Jersey papers was he’s an Eagles fan!! was printed in 1 paper he’d rather go in the 2nd rd than play for us!lol.

  11. Russell MacEachern

    That statement of JPs was seen in a tweet of his a week or so ago!?!I wonder if he’ll admit it?

  12. Russell MacEachern

    Wow,Ron looks like the G-men are gonna have to become one of your favorite teams now unless ur still on Dougies team lol…Ill really enjoy my pro team now and Ryan can take his time growing behind Eli Manning so the pressures off!!Go Gmen!!Go Orange!!

  13. Russell MacEachern

    It looks like Coughlin is more loyal than the Dougie is to his alma mater…I never trusted Dougie!

  14. well, nice post, thanks for share

  15. @Smitty Section 129 & Malone;

    I totally agree with both of your points made in you your post gentlemen. i too hope that Ryan gets his chance to stick it to Marrone that freaking idiot.

  16. Carlton

    Love all the bills hate on here. Sorry Nassib was picked maybe 1rd lower then he should have been. It’s a lot easier to see things not through orange colored glasses. Nassib has 1 speed fastball an doesn’t have a deep ball. The ESPN draft “experts” are just butt hurt bc they didn’t see through the smoke screen and looked like clowns.

    @Mike- the bills did move down from the 8th pick an got that 46 pick u mentioned they should have used on EJ for doing so. The Eagles wanted EJ an picked before the bills in the 2nd rd. Now could they have traded down again? Maybe but the cowgirls who picked at 18th 2 spots after the bills got only a 3rd pick for moving to 31st spot. That’s garbage in return for that kind of move an then you gotta worry about teams like the Bengals or the Vikings trading away one of their 2 late 1st rounders to a team like the Eagles that coveted EJ. The bills did a nice job got an extra 2nd rd pick. The draft didn’t have many guys worth trading up for after the 3 elite LTs an Austin where gone. Keep on hating.

    Lastly ya’ll need to get over DM leaving. It happens all over CFB an CBB. People like Jimmy B are very rare. Just be happy DM got the program cleaned up an didn’t leave it /w it under sanctions(Pete Carrol, Chip Kelly anyone?) bc a lot of you are beginning to sound like babies.

  17. HedgeHog

    Lets see, Nassib threw for more yards and had more TD’s than EJ Manuel- both in the 2012 season and in his college career in the same amount of years. Ryans completion % was better and had a higher QB rating. So he pretty much beat out EJ on ever statistical category you can measure, great pick Bills. I’m glad that Ryan is on a solid team, coached by another SU Alumni isn’t bad either. He will have a solid NFL career. I believe EJ will have a similar career to Vince Young. A few years of struggle then he’ll be washing cars somewhere.

  18. Carlton

    Maybe u should double check ur facts hedgehog. Nassib QB rating for 4yrs was 132.5. EJ’s was 150.4 for 4yrs. Nassib 2012 QB rating 143.3. EJ’s 2012 rating was 156.1. Nassib’s 4yr completion percentage was 60.3%.EJ’s for 4yrs was 66.9%. Last yr completion percentage for nassib was 62.4% an Ejs was 68%. Nassib threw for more yards an tds bc he threw the ball almost a 100x more them Ej. Given that disparity he only had 3 more td passes.

  19. HedgeHog

    Blah, you are splitting hairs there Carlton. Nassib threw for almost 400 more yards +3 more TD’s in the same # of games with less talent around him. It gets even worse for EJ when you look at career totals. Nassib: 9190 yards,70 TDs to Manuel’s 7736, 47 TDs – not even close. That’s why ever draft board had Ryan rated higher. EJ will be waxing my car in a few years !

  20. Carlton

    Splitting hairs? The thing is what u said was wrong. Ya Nassib has 3+ tds and 400 more yards /w about 100 more attempts. Career totals once again favor Nassib b/c he has over 200+ attempts. Yes Nassib had less talent but played in the BE that equals right out.

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