As we move closer to the NFL Draft, hype and buzz surrounding Ryan Nassib is escalating higher than most of us thought possible. ESPN’s Jon Gruden and NFL.com’s Greg Cosell have called Nassib the best quarterback in the class, and some draftniks are looking at the Bills at #8 as a possible landing spot. What does it all mean for SU’s brand?
Just a year ago, fans were dissatisfied with Nassib’s erratic play and insecurity inside the pocket. The 2012 Spring Game did not have an offensive touchdown, and it looked like another season hoping the defense could win low-scoring games. Despite early season struggles, Nassib matured as the season progressed, and eventually became the strength of the team. Ryan has a cannon for an arm and can throw into tight windows when needed. But Nassib’s patience in the pocket, along with scrambling ability has NFL scouts excited, and his potential to be a franchise quarterback is higher than ever.
The Bills need a quarterback but taking Nassib in the top 10 might be a stretch. Then again look at what the Dolphins did last year, when Miami drafted Ryan Tannehill in the first round after Mike Sherman joined the staff. Nassib will probably land somewhere by the 2nd round. In an era of quarterback dependence, a franchise will quickly snap up a player believed believed to be the first or second best signal caller available.
What does this mean for SU football? The program has done a great job of getting out of the dark ages of the Greg Robinson era and pouring time, effort, and money into a program that is going to adjust to the ACC next season. Nassib is a great example to show prospective recruits you don’t have to be a top 100 recruit to be a high pick. Nassib was a two-star recruit who struggled heavily through his third year.
The impact he made his senior season erased all the earlier doubts. Recruits will see how Nassib has made Syracuse’s offense a threat, and view the coaching staff favorably having developed a top pick. Having a player like Nassib in the pros also gives Syracuse credibility, and coaches a success story when talking to recruits.
With the Spring Game over and the season still more than four months away, Nassib becomes one of the biggest SU football stories this summer. Lets hope that he grabs the spotlight this week in New York, so that the program can share in the glow.
Posted: Zephan Mayell