Buffalo Bills: Breaking Down Ryan Nassib as a Potential Pick

Greg Maiola@Gom1094Senior Analyst IIJanuary 25, 2013

Buffalo Bills: Breaking Down Ryan Nassib as a Potential Pick

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    Former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib is an appealing NFL prospect, especially for any Buffalo Bills fan.

    His former head coach Doug Marrone and former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett have transitioned from the Syracuse Orange to the Bills, and Nassib even believes getting selected by Buffalo would be a "match made in heaven."

    This slideshow breaks down Nassib after extensively watching his performance, not by reading his stat sheet. If the Bills are going to take Nassib in the 2013 NFL Draft, chances are he will not slip past the first 40 picks.

    After this article, Bills fans should feel a tad more informed on Nassib and see how he would fit into Buffalo.

    Although there is plenty of time for Nassib to rise or fall in projections, he will inevitably be an intriguing prospect until the draft arrives.

    Here is a breakdown of Ryan Nassib and his potential fit in Buffalo.

Play Action Pass

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    Ryan Nassib would have a major advantage in the play action pass if he is brought into Buffalo. With the electric C.J. Spiller leading the ground attack, the play action would be very easy to sell as defenses would be prepared to do whatever they can to slow Spiller down.

    Playing in a traditional pro-set out of center, Nassib tends to move defenders with his eyes and looks off receivers to make the correct read after faking the hand off.

    However, out of the shotgun formation, Nassib tends to get a bit antsy and sticks to his initial read to get the ball out of his hands quickly. Sometimes Nassib's tendency to quickly release the ball can stop a potential big play from developing, but this is better than holding on to the ball too long.

    If Nassib senses a breakdown or pressure coming on the fake hand off, his awareness allows for him to abort selling the fake and get rid of the ball before the play completely breaks down.

    Nassib would have a great running back in Spiller or Fred Jackson, and the defense would be forced to respect the play action. Nassib would thrive under center and could actually roll out after faking the hand off to make a play.

    However, he must improve his habit of getting the ball off too quickly under center and not allowing for plays to fully develop.

    He just seems more comfortable under center and looking off defenders, and while in the shotgun formation he sticks to his first read too often to avoid getting sacked.

Mobility in the Pocket

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    Ryan Nassib is not the most mobile quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft, but he definitely holds his own.

    Nassib is very good at stepping up into his throws and sliding from side to side to avoid pressure and deliver passes. His ability to calmly avoid pressure and stand strong in the pocket is very appealing for NFL teams scouting him.

    He tends to create a lot of opportunities for himself that may not look like viable options. Based on where he is in the pocket and where the pressure is coming from, Nassib is able to adjust his arm's angle and alter his throwing release. This may include side-arm passes or very high releases from time to time.

    Nassib is known to bounce around in the pocket and stay on his toes. The good part of that aspect of his game is that it allows Nassib to strike and pounce at any given time and even roll out of the pocket.

    The bad part of his "happy feet" is that he wastes energy and that could eventually turn into fatigue over time. His odd footwork may cause Nassib to over compensate on his arm strength and that may cause for a slip in accuracy.

    When Nassib is calm and confident in the pocket, he is a very solid quarterback. But he has a bad habit of bouncing around and looking anxious to make a play, and with NFL defenders he might resort to his "happy feet" a lot more than he did in the NCAA.

    The only positive of his quick moving feet is that Nassib is accurate on the move and can deliver a good pass, meaning Buffalo could potentially design some plays where Nassib is on the move out of the pocket.

    He is able to adjust his throwing motion and techniques to get the ball out and stands strong and firm in the pocket. However, he must clean up his footwork and transfer all of his weight and momentum into all of his throws while in the pocket.


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    Ryan Nassib isn't going to be the next Colin Kaepernick, but the kid did run a lot of plays out of shotgun for the Syracuse Orange.

    Nassib was trusted to run read option, and he did well with his role.

    He knows how to read the defense and makes good decisions about when to pull it or hand it off. Nassib can even run the ball a little bit, but doesn't figure to torch defenses on he ground like a Kaepernick, Tim Tebow or Robert Griffin III.

    The scrambling ability is definitely there though, and compares to Ryan Fitzpatrick. While Fitz drove a lot of Buffalo Bills fans crazy, he was an above average scrambler and did enough to pick of chunks of yards. Nassib won't outrun too many defenders, but can take advantage of a hole if the defense provides one.

    Luckily for Buffalo, they wouldn't be drafting Nassib to be an athletic quarterback; it frankly isn't a huge element to his game. He does provide a decent skill set as a runner and can work successfully out of thread option, which happens to be a trend in today's NFL.

    Let's just say if he were a Manning, his rushing ability would compare to Archie.

Accuracy and Arm-Strength on Short Passes (0-10 Yards)

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    Ryan Nassib has a very strong arm, which can be his best friend and worst enemy at the same time.

    He is excellent on quick slants and ins and outs within 10 yards. His quick delivery allows him to hit a receiver very early and accurately.

    However, he sure likes to show-off that arm strength of his.

    If there is a tight end or receiver in the middle of the field, usually sitting in the middle of a zone, Nassib riffles the ball to him. The problem is that the pace on the ball from a short distance can result in dropped passes or deflected/tipped passes, which can easily turn into interceptions.

    Although he is trying to avoid a turnover, he needs to take a little off of some of his throws and make some shorter passes a little easier to catch by his receivers.

    What could really work in Buffalo are his very good habits on screen plays. Since Nassib stands strong in the pocket, he waits for the maximum amount of pressure to come to him and delivers the ball at the late possible second. This allows for the running back or receiver to have time and space to make a big play.

    Nassib also has a very good touch and directional lead on these screen passes.

    For the most part, Nassib is a very good short distance passer. If he can learn to not deliver rockets while still landing the ball to his receivers, he will cut down on incompletions and perhaps interceptions.

Accuracy and Arm-Strength on Intermediate Passes (10-25 Yards)

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    This may be the best attribute of Ryan Nassib's game.

    On the intermediate routes and distances, Nassib has very good ball placement and puts the ball in a spot where the receiver can turn and make a play up-field.

    The corner routes and post routes are very impressive with Nassib quarterbacking and he just simply looks calm and accurate in the range of 10-25 yards.

    The 10-25 yard area is where Nassib can show off that rocket arm of his and drive the ball to his receivers. This may allow him to throw some timing passes or thread the needle where other 2013 NFL Draft prospects could not.

    The only area where Nassib could improve here is to improve his consistency on touch passes and fades toward the sidelines.

    This throwing range gives Nassib his best opportunity to drill the ball to his receivers and pick up good chunks of yards for the offense.

Accuracy and Arm-Strength on Deep Passes (25+ Yards)

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    Of all of the facets of Ryan Nassib's game, this is where he needs the most improvement.

    Nassib tries to hit the home run down-field a bit too often. This tendency allows for some bad decision making and results in a high number of turnovers.

    He can really get some air under the ball, but that can certainly backfire on Nassib. If a receiver has a step on a defensive back, then Nassib can hang it up and let his wide out make a play.

    However, the defensive backs in the NFL are big and fast. If Nassib gets too much lob under his passes and rainbows some of his throws, he is allowing the big and fast defensive backs to recover on the ball. This allows for the coverage to catch up to the receiver due to the hang time and suddenly the ball becomes a 50/50 ball.

    Nassib does step up in the pocket and get a lot under his throws, but the amount of air he gets under his throws may allow for some unnecessary turnovers. If he can improve the angles of some of his deep passes, he can turn into a very dangerous quarterback.

Mental Make-Up

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    For the most part, Ryan Nassib is a good decision maker. On the read option he tends to make the correct call, and if a play breaks down Nassib gets rid of the ball.

    Sometimes Nassib tries too hard to squeeze a pass to a receiver and tries to thread the needle very close to defenders, which can result in interceptions if he is slightly off.

    Nassib is very confident in himself and his abilities and simply follows his instincts on the field.

    He looks off defenders and doesn't stick to his first read too often. Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett would simply ease Nassib's transition into the NFL and the two would take advantage of Nassib strengths, like his quick release and arm strength.

    Though he isn't a Harvard alumni, he is a very smart quarterback. He is extremely competitive and helps direct the offense and put players in the right spot. The chemistry he forms with receivers is seen on his touch passes, but he may trust himself a bit too much on the field.

    He does not fear making a risky play or putting his body on the line and returns to his feet after every hard hit he takes.

    Nassib is a very confident player who is a fierce competitor. Trusting his abilities too much may cause him to force a few passes or attempt to make plays that he has no business making, but the willingness to succeed is there.

    When the offense is in rhythm and things are running smoothly, Nassib is cool and confident. And when things aren't going his team's way, Nassib doesn't sulk or lash out about it. He keeps his cool and keeps fighting until the final whistle blows.

Why the Bills Should Seriously Consider Ryan Nassib

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    Ryan Nassib is a very intriguing Buffalo Bill prospect due to his ties to the coaching staff. All of the Syracuse Orange connection aside, Nassib may very well be the player Buffalo has been waiting for at the position.

    Believe it or not, coming out of college, Nassib looks similar to Drew Brees. Both show good mobility, hit receivers in stride consistently, are extreme competitors and have strong arms. Brees has gone on to be an All-Pro Super Bowl MVP and succeed under the same mentor Nassib had at Syracuse, Doug Marrone.

    Marrone's work developing Brees into an elite quarterback and possible Hall of Fame player should prove that Marrone can mold Nassib into something special. Both have spent years together in Big East play and have a chance to transition their relationship onto football's biggest stage.

    Nassib has a similar skill set as Brees did in 2001, and has the capability to take the reigns and thrive with the opportunity in Buffalo.

    The combine and pro days have yet to occur so Nassib's draft status isn't exactly easy to anticipate. He might not last until pick No. 25, but he could also slip to the Bills in Round 2, at this point in time. Realistically, Nassib will be a first round pick.

    If Buffalo doesn't want to take Nassib No. 8, they could trade back and snag him. Honestly, Nassib benefits from being in a weak quarterback class and his stock will rise as a result. He has the tools to succeed and Buffalo needs a winner.

    Taking advantage of a solid player who happens to have a coaching connection might actually work for the Bills.