Ever since Doug Marrone left the Syracuse Orange to become the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, it’s been widely speculated, and by some assumed, that the Bills would draft former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib. It’s a move that obviously makes a lot of sense, as Marrone has always had a high opinion of Nassib, even before he broke out as an NFL prospect, and Nassib has always had a good relationship with Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathanial Hacket, who followed Marrone from Syracuse to Buffalo. However, it’s not set in stone that Nassib is going to end up in Buffalo, as there are a lot of variables in play.
Back in January, Nassib was projected as a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick, and it seemed as if it would be easy for the Bills to take him with their 2nd round pick if they were sure they wanted to draft him. However, since then Nassib’s stock has slowly started to rise, to the point where it’s no longer a sure thing he’ll be available when Buffalo makes its second round pick.
As his stock has risen over the past couple of months, Nassib has drawn the attention of a lot of teams, meaning the Bills aren’t the only team with serious interest in drafting him. The rise in Nassib’s stock and the high number of teams desperate for a quarterback could push him into the first round or the early part of the second round, which would keep the Bills from being able to draft him with their second round pick, the ideal situation for them if Nassib is in fact the quarterback they’d like to draft.
If Nassib’s stock rises so high between now and draft day that it seems unlikely he’ll be available in the second round, Buffalo may have to draft him with their first round pick, 8th overall, to ensure that they get him. But if the Bills were going to spend their first round pick on a quarterback, they would have other options aside from Nassib, including Geno Smith, who is widely believed to be the top quarterback available this year and could still be available eight picks into the draft. If that is indeed the case, the Bills could easily end up with a quarterback that isn’t Nassib, but they could also end up without a quarterback at all in the first two rounds of the draft.
The other option the Bills have would be to trade down to a lower spot in the first round, possibly the late teens or early twenties, where taking Nassib would be less of a stretch and where he would be a more valuable pick. However, with so much uncertainty heading into this draft, especially at the quarterback position, it’s difficult to judge how far back the Bills could drop in the first round and still have a shot to take Nassib. Buffalo would look rather foolish if they orchestrated their entire draft around taking Nassib and didn’t end up in a position to draft him.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that the Bills are not as set on drafting Nassib as everybody thinks they are. After all, the Bills have worked out a lot of quarterbacks leading up to the draft. While that could just be a smoke screen, there’s no way Marrone would draft a player, especially at the quarterback position, without exploring all of his options. Obviously Marrone and Hackett know more about Nassib than anybody else in the NFL, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they view him as the answer at quarterback for the Bills. It also doesn’t mean they would go out of their way to get him, or even use a first or second round pick on him.
We won’t know for sure what’s going to happen with Nassib and the Bills until things play themselves out on draft day. It stands to reason that the Bills would be interested in Nassib, and there’s a possibility that they end up drafting him. There may even be a strong possibility that they end up drafting him. But with so many variables in place, it’s far from a certainty. So, when it comes to Ryan Nassib and the Buffalo Bills, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.