Ryan Nassib Senior Bowl: Syracuse QB Has Most Riding on Performance

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIJanuary 26, 2013

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

Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib has a huge opportunity to turn heads at the 2013 Senior Bowl. The college football All-Star game has given many prospects a chance to showcase themselves in preparation for the NFL draft.

That’s no different for Nassib, who is an intriguing prospect among a class of question marks at the quarterback position.

Last year’s class sent three rookie QBs to the Pro Bowl, but there is a clear concern that there isn’t even one similarly talented player among this year’s group.

Nassib is currently rated as the fifth-best QB prospect by NFLDraftScout.com and is projected to be picked in the second round of the draft.

Those are some lofty goals for the 6’2” signal-caller from Syracuse University.

But Nassib has some factors working in his favor that he didn’t a few months ago. Doug Marrone, his mentor and coach, was hired as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Marrone groomed and developed Nassib into the potent passer he became in his final year at Syracuse.

Nassib threw for 3,749 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while playing under Marrone’s NFL-caliber coaching staff.

Buffalo is also looking for a QB who can win games in the fourth quarter—something Marrone has seen his former QB do live in action. It wouldn’t be hard for him to sell Nassib to Buffalo’s GM Buddy Nix as a result of their familiarity.

All signs out of Senior Bowl practices this week indicate that the QB was the top performer among his peers, according to Matt Miller, Bleacher Report’s NFL draft Lead Writer.

“He (Nassib) showed off a strong arm and validated film study that shows great velocity, quick feet and some ability to make plays outside of the pocket,” Miller said. “Nassib does a good job squaring to throw when forced to move his feet.”

With all of this positivity surrounding him, the hype will also follow. And with hype comes a new spotlight that may or may not have been there before.

Nassib will have the ability to either sink or swim given his new-found celebrity status leading up the NFL Scouting Combine.

If he can blow away scouts and impress in live-game action at the Senior Bowl, he just may punch his ticket to early selection in April’s draft. If he flounders, he may lose some of the momentum that has found him shooting up draft boards recently.

The spotlight is on Nassib now, and he's under the microscope—let's see what he's got.