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Draftniks keep linking Nassib to Bills

Posted Apr 11, 2013

NFL Draft predictors haven't been shy in linking QB Ryan Nassib to the Bills, and for obvious reasons.

Call it logical, call it lack of creative thinking, but with a head coach and offensive coordinator recently removed from the college ranks at Syracuse, NFL draft prognosticators can’t help but link Orange QB prospect Ryan Nassib to the Bills in their predictions for the 2013 NFL draft.

Bills GM Buddy Nix has been clear not to connect the dots with the obvious connection between Buffalo's head coach and Nassib.

“We’ve all got good feelings about Ryan, but don’t read into the fact that Doug coached him that that’s who we’ll pick,” he said.

LISTEN: Greg Cosell calls Nassib the top QB in the Draft

Several outside observers have taken off and run with the obvious connection between Bills head coach Doug Marrone and the quarterback under his watch for four years at Syracuse in Nassib. With Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett having tutored Nassib for the better part of the last three seasons, it only strengthens the conviction of the opinion.

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper explains why the scenario persists.

“Familiarity reigns supreme in this process,” said Kiper. “Every year you see what happens when players, when personnel people leave to go somewhere else or coaches leave to go -- they bring their own guys with them. I mean, it's automatic. 

“When Scott Pioli left New England to go to Kansas City, he brought Matt Cassel with him. Dennis Dixon was at Oregon, now he's up in Philadelphia with Chip Kelly. That's just the way this league is. Surround yourself with guys that you know and you coach. Rex Ryan when he went to the Jets brought some Baltimore Ravens with him. That's just the way it is in this league.”           

That contention has only been fueled by what transpired in Miami during last year’s NFL draft. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin hired former Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman as his offensive coordinator. A few months later Miami drafted Sherman’s college quarterback Ryan Tannehill ninth overall.

“To say that Doug Marrone is not going to end up with Ryan Nassib early in the second round, I think it's a strong possibility,” said Kiper. “That's who I'm projecting to go to Buffalo for obvious reasons. You talk about his skill set; he's 6'2", up around 230 pounds, he can hang in there, he can take a hit.  His accuracy I'd like to see it be more precise with some throws and allow his receivers to do more after the catch, a little erratic with that at times and inconsistent with that, put a little more pressure on your line at times, but if you protect him he can do some things throwing the football.  He's got a nice arm.  I like the way the ball comes out of his hand.” 

Kiper said he’d normally consider Nassib a third round pick, but in this draft he sees him going higher. In fact he’s not certain that the Syracuse product will be there when the Bills are on the clock at 41.

RELATED: Round 2 to present high-drama for QBs?

“To get Nassib where they’re picking in the second round, that’s something you would have to say is debatable,” he said. “He could very easily go before that. The strength of their conviction on the quarterback will determine a lot of that. Are they hoping to just be lucky and have good fortune? Or are they going to be aggressive and move up to go get him? That’s one of the interesting scenarios in this draft.”

The bottom line is as much as draftniks want to link Nassib to his former coaches with the Bills, Nix, who calls the shots in Buffalo's draft room will ultimately go by the integrity of Buffalo's draft board.