Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib had been flying under the radar until recently, but has now reportedly been linked to a pair of AFC East teams, according to NBC Sports affiliate Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith.
With former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone now in Buffalo, and the Bills in need of a quarterback, there's a real shot that Buffalo targets Nassib with the No. 8 overall pick. However, according to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio (via Smith), "Buffalo believes the Jets are seriously interested in Nassib, and the Bills fear that if they don’t draft Nassib, they might end up facing him twice a year."
The Jets will draft at the No. 9 and No. 13 spots in the first round following the Darrelle Revis trade, which sent the shutdown corner to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the No. 13 pick and a conditional pick next year.
NFL Network's Albert Breer has since reported that New York is looking to move down in Thursday's first round, which would be good news for the Bills, who are set to come on the clock before New York as of right now:
The Jets have made calls to clubs about dealing down from the ninth and 13th picks. That's like most of the rest of those in the Top 10.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 24, 2013
Nassib has been improving steadily since his freshman year, completing 62.4 percent of his passes for 3,749 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2012 as a senior with the Orange. Nassib also rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Who will be the first QB taken in the 2013 NFL draft?
The 23-year-old played all four seasons under Marrone, participating in 47 games and starting the last 37 over his final three seasons. Nassib also helped the Orange to two Pinstripe Bowl victories in 2010 and 2012.
Clearly, the Marrone-Nassib connection is huge in this case, as the 6'2" passer was paramount in Syracuse's turnaround under Marrone. While he may not boast the arm strength or accuracy of a Geno Smith or Matt Barkley, Nassib's durability, toughness and leadership can't be questioned.
It's definitely difficult to imagine Ryan Nassib being the first quarterback drafted in 2013, but with two teams at the top of the order reportedly interested in him, there's a strong possibility that either the Jets or the Bills take their guy rather than the guy.
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