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Doug Marrone hurts for Ryan Nassib

By Jay Skurski   

One of the biggest storylines through the first two nights of the NFL Draft is the fact Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib remains an undrafted player.

Nassib was widely considered to be a first- or second-round talent by several experts coming into the draft, and was a popular mock pick to the Buffalo Bills with the eighth overall selection in the first round, including here at The News.

"I'm extremely surprised," said Nassib's former coach at Syracuse, current Bills coach Doug Marrone. "I think the world of Ryan. He has a strong work ethic. He's a tough kid. He has a very good arm and I think he'll be a great addition to whatever team selects him. He has the skillset to be successful. I wish him the best of luck. I think he'll be successful in this league."

Marrone wore the look of a pained man in discussing Nassib, correctly pointing out that if it weren't for the quarterback's accomplishments at Syracuse, the coach very likely would not have made it to the NFL.

"You're coming from a team with players that you've recruited and still some players that are on the board. You love those kids and you love what they've done for you," Marrone said. They have great qualities. Prior to taking this job, I've talked to multiple teams in the league about those players and I've had nothing but great things to say about all of them.

Shamarko Thomas is still out there. It's difficult because you care about those players. You have feelings for those players. Those players helped get me where I am right now and we've been through a lot. So human nature, you take a job and you do what you have to do."

Marrone and the Bills, of course, were one of the team's that overlooked Nassib, choosing instead to peg Florida State's EJ Manuel as the quarterback of the future. The coach explained the decision as such: "You do what's best for the organization that you are at. At the same time, the human side and the feelings that you have -- it's hard, but at the end of the day you're making decisions as what is best for your organization. I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that it does hurt. That is the human side of it."

Nassib is rated as the best available player still remaining in the draft by ESPN, while Thomas, a safety, is the 10th best, and second best at his position.  


2013 draft | Doug Marrone | EJ Manuel | Ryan Nassib | Shamarko Thomas
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |