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Jon Gruden likes Syracuse's Nassib best among QBs in draft

By Mark Gaughan

Syracuse University's Ryan Nassib is the best quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft, according to Jon Gruden, the former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst.

"I really like this kid out of Syracuse," Gruden said today on a conference call with reporters. "I like Ryan Nassib because he's an athletic kid. He's functioned in a couple different offenses. What they did this year at Syracuse, changing their offense two weeks before the regular season, says a lot about this kid's ability to adapt."

"He's a former 400-pound bench presser," Gruden said. "They were 2-4, trailing Stony Brook college at halftime, and I thought he was really good at the end of games and helped Syracuse go to a bowl game. I just like his body of work at Syracuse."

More Gruden on Nassib:

"He threw some tight-window completions. And that's hard to find sometimes in college football. You don't see a lot of really contested tight-window throws under duress. I thought Nassib proved that he could make the difficult plays when it wasn't a clean pocket.

"He didn't have a great supporting cast, no disrespect to Syracuse. There were times Nassib had to make something happen for Syracuse to win, and I thought he did that enough to prove that he can do it at the next level."

Asked if Nassib's laid-back demeanor will be effective in the NFL, Gruden said:

"I think so. I don't think a lot of these quarterbacks are Type A personalities. I like a calm, cool customer, a man that can handle a lot of situations, a lot on his plate from a football standpoint. They gave him a lot of freedom at Syracuse, reading progressions, changing plays.

"I think most players I've been around, they like playing for a quarterback that knows what he's doing and is in control of the game. That's one thing that impressed me the most about Ryan Nassib. He's already got his degree. He's all business all the time. He's gonna know what to do when the game starts."


2013 draft | Jon Gruden | Ryan Nassib
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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.

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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 |