Ryan Nassib First Overall?

Jan 24, 2013; Fairhope AL, USA; Senior Bowl north squad quarterback Ryan Nassib of Syracuse (12) passes during Senior Bowl practice at Fairhope municipal stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cleveland Browns college scout and scouting administrator for the St. Louis Rams, Russell Lande, made some news in the Kansas City market when he tweeted that there was one quarterback worth taking with the first overall pick and then followed it up with an article for the National Football Post declaring that it was …. Ryan Nassib?

The only reason I knew who this guy was is because of the bowl game in which he played against Geno Smith, which was who I was watching for. But Lande is a MUCH better football mind than myself, and about 99% of the people reading this article, so let’s take a look at what he had to say:

1. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse (6020, 228 and 5.05): Already rising up draft boards, NFL personnel are excited to see Nassib matched up with the best senior talent in the country. Quick and athletic to avoid pressure, re-set and make accurate throws, Nassib has NFL teams intrigued. After charting out Nassib in five games we consider him to be the best quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft and worth drafting with the first overall pick, so we are excited to see how he does in Mobile. Blessed with a strong arm, the ball bursts out of his hand and he can make 15+ yard throws with zip even when a defender is about to hit him and he cannot stride into his throw. Having played in the Big East where the defenses are not the same caliber as the SEC and some of the other conferences, NFL teams are interested to see how he does against top defenders. The big thing that Nassib must work on is his deep passing as he tends to put too much air under his throws which forces his receivers to slow up and wait for the ball. This allows the defensive back to close and make a play on the ball. He could be the story of Mobile if he has a strong week and begins climbing up into the high first round.”

Let’s just say this came as a surprise to me, and a lot of other Chiefs fans. The first I had heard of Nassib possibly creeping into the first round was from Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, when he mocked Nassib to the Buffalo Bills with the 8th pick in the draft. His justification:

“New Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone comes from Syracuse, where he mentored and coached Nassib. It’s common sense to think the two would like to be reunited in Buffalo, but the mistake people make is in thinking the Bills can wait until the second round to nab one of the hottest rising names in the entire draft class.

We can all agree that quarterback is the biggest need for this team—so why not pull the trigger on the guy you know, love and trust? This may be a reach, but on my rankings, it’s no bigger reach than drafting Ryan Tannehill No. 8 overall last year.”

The frustrating part about Nassib is that hardly anyone can agree on him. Miller followed up mocking Nassib to Buffalo at #8 with putting him as his 38th best player on a big board. Even Lande’s justification about the Chiefs taking Nassib wasn’t that clear: “In 1999 Andy Reid drafted Syracuse QB D. McNabb with the #2 pick in the Draft & had great success with him, so in the 2013 NFL Draft I think Andy Reid will draft another Syracuse QB, R. Nassib, but this time with the 1st overall pick to lead the Chiefs!”

So, Nassib might go first overall because Andy Reid – who is not the General Manager by the way – wants to somehow come full-circle and take Nassib because he was successful taking his predecessor 14 years ago from the same school? Or is it because Lande truly believes Nassib is the best QB on the board?

While Nassib could very well skyrocket to the top of the draft board after a strong Senior Bowl and combine – Scott Wright from Draft Countdown said he was better than any of the quarterbacks on the South Team  while Mike Mayock of NFL Network compared him to Andy Dalton because of his “intelligence and love of the game”– I’d still consider most fans at that getting-to-know-you stage. So let’s take a look at Nassib’s numbers throughout his career.

Nassib was a three year starter with the Orange, going 755/1255 (60.2%) for 8,768 yards, with 67 TDs and 27 INTs. That translates to a touchdown pass every 18.7 pass attempts and an interception every 46.5 pass attempts. Just for some perspective, WVU’s Geno Smith threw a touchdown every 14.6 pass attempts and an interception every 69.4 pass attempts on his career. For even more perspective, Matt Cassel’s career featured a touchdown every 26.9 pass attempts and an interception every 35.9 pass attempts.

As far as Nassib’s senior season is concerned, the Orange finished the year 8-5 as Nassib was 294/471 (62.4%) for 3,749 yards, 26 TDs and 10 INTs. He had a 7.96 yards per attempt average, and had a 143.3 QB Rating, good for the 35th highest passing efficiency in college football – but also below Geno Smith (6th), Matt Barkley (12th), EJ Manuel (14th), Tyler Bray (29th), Landry Jones (31st), and Tyler Wilson (34th). For the season, his numbers break down as 288.38 yards, 2 TDs and .77 INTs per game.

During the season, Nassib had two games in which he had less than a 60% completion percentage – at Rutgers (59.5%) and at Temple (57.1%) – and also had two games in which he had less than a 50% completion percentage – at Cincinnati (48.9%) and in the Pinstripe Bowl (47.8%). With the exception of the Rutgers game, three of those games, including the two under 50%, happened in the final five games of the season. In the other nine games, Nassib’s completion percentage was 66%.

When you break Nassib’s performance down to his competition, Nassib played five games against teams with top-33 defenses – Connecticut (9th), Rutgers (10th), Pittsburgh (17th), Louisville (23rd), and Minnesota (33rd) – , five defenses between 34-65 in total defense – Northwestern (47th), Cincinnati (54th), Mizzou (58th), USC (60th), and South Florida (65th) -, and then two with awful defenses – Temple (90th) and West Virginia (108th) in total defense (and no, I’m not counting Stony Brook).

Against top-33 defense, Nassib was 94/146 (64.4%) for 1,266 yards, 7 TDs and 5 INTs; that averages out as 253.2 yards, a 8.7 yards per attempt, 1.4 TDs and 1 INT per game. He went 3-2 in those games. In the next tier of competition, Nassib was 151/239 (63.2%) for 1,803 yards, with 13 TDs and 4 INTs; that averages as 360.6 passing yards, a 7.54 YPA, 2.6 TDs and .8 INTs.  He was 2-3 in those games. Finally, against the bottom defenses, Nassib was 27/51 (53%) for 345 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. That comes to 172.5 yards per game, a 6.76 YPA, with 1.5 TDs and .5 INT.

Numbers never tell the whole story, but maybe they will help you understand why Nassib’s draft stock seems to polarizing. He did his best against better competition and struggled against weak competition. But hey, since when is that a bad thing? If Nassib is the guy, and proves to be so during his path to the draft, then so be it. Until then, I’ll just sit back, watch the Senior Bowl this afternoon, and see what the guy’s got.

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs, Quarterback, Ryan Nassib, Senior Bowl, Syracuse

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  • safeissafe

    seems like a “put me on the map” move
    if hes right, hes brilliant
    if hes wrong, no one calls him on it

  • john woodley

    I’ve watched enough on him to have a very strong feeling. If he is the #1 QB then please draft another position with the #1 pick. (I want oakland to take him love seeing them struggle)

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.pinnick.5 Travis Pinnick

    Geno or nothing, I don’t see Dorsey taking a future Matt Castel.

  • Daniel Mayfield

    He’s not worth it. Stick with Geno. Geno has more accuracy, even on the deep passes. Nassib can go to Buffalo to his old coach. Other scouters might just be saying good stuff about Nassib to get KC to take him and leave Geno so they don’t have to worry about the Chiefs being so hard to beat. We have all the other talented players for the offense. Get Nassib, we might have a younger Cassel. Especially against the easier teams.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I liked what I saw from the kid at the Senior Bowl this week. He’s not worth the top overall pick in the draft though. He’ll go bottom half of R1 or at the top of R2.

    • Chief Hokie

      I’m thinking no sooner than round two but could see him sliding to 3-5

  • micah stephenson

    Whoeva said this QB shud b taken 1st ovr needs to quit get n high off they own supply! This guy has looked like trash at the senior bowl practices.

  • Chris

    Yes, the stats do not tell the whole story. A great quarterback can come from a run-heavy offense and his stats won’t be as high as a qb who had to throw it a ton. I would rather compare actual scouting reports than just stats.

  • Matt Dickson

    The key to Lande’s observation was he said they “charted five games”. FIVE games and he’s ready to anoint Nassib worthy of the top overall draft pick? Seriously?!
    Shame on Lande. He should know better than just throw worthless red meat like that out for the consumption of know-nothing fans.

  • Joe Myers

    Geno smith better deep ball more athletic and has great pocket presence. Its Geno smith or another bad season

  • GregAbdul

    Nassib at number one? Either you are racist or crazy. NFL.com reports that NONE of the QBs had a good week at the Senior Bowl. The QB who got the MVP (Manuel) is projected to be a third round pick. Buffalo may reach for Nassib with their first pick, but NO WAY is Nassib the best player in the draft. If Dorsey does what you are saying here, he’s fired before he’s started working. My hope is we go with Chance Warmack….because with that top pick you need a sure fire pro bowl player and Warmack is the only one I see on the board. It fits Dorsey’s strategy of BPA (best player available).

  • mg2098

    After watching the senior bowl there is no way Nasssib is selected #1 overall. I did like what I seen from Glennon and Manuel though. I still feel that Geno is the only QB worthy of a day 1 selection. Glennon and Wilson look like 2cnd round guys to me. Dalton showed more than all the QB’s in this draft besides Geno Smith when he was selected in the 2cnd rd. I think E.J. Manuel would be a great 3-4 rd selection for the Panthers as Cam Newtons back-up. Either the Chiefs take Glennon or Wilson with their 2ncd rd pick or take Geno Smith #1 overall. I think Barkley will be a late 2cnd early 3rd rd pick come draft day. Nassib is a smoke screen guy right now, and I think Manuel gets drafted before him. Nassib is a poor mans Jake Locker.

  • tm1946

    I am afraid to many of you guys/gals are falling into the guy not playing is the one who should be. You know the second string QB is better than the starter. Geno, on advice of his agent is not playing in front of anyone in an uncontrolled environment, it keeps his draft status high but does it show how he will play in a NFL game.

    For me Geno is no better or worse than any of the guys who put their careers on television yesterday. At least they tried.

  • Don417

    The Geno sucks. Mr. Dorsey, please, dont fall in to this trap. Pick anyone else.

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