This year’s NFL Draft class is highlighted by a stellar group of quarterbacks that includes likely first-rounders Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles.
As great as those prospects are, however, none are sure things in the way Andrew Luck was in 2012. Most aren’t. But spending a first-round pick on a quarterback can be risky, especially if your team has other major needs on the roster that can be addressed more succinctly early in the draft.
Those three aforementioned prospects are going to be picked; there’s no question about that. But if I was in charge of a NFL team, I may be looking for another way to acquire a solid young quarterback prospect without spending a big pick.
Former NFL quarterbacks Ron Jaworski and Phil Simms have both voiced their opinions that there is not a franchise quarterback in this draft. So why not take the safer route and try to land one via trade?
Enter New York Giants backup and 2013 fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib.
He was a popular first-round prospect a season ago and is believed by some draft pundits, including former NFL scout Russ Lande, to be better than this year’s class of quarterbacks. The second-year gunslinger should be on the radar for those teams out there in need of a potential franchise quarterback but skeptical about what’s available to them in this year’s in the draft.
— Russell Lande (@RUSSLANDE) February 19, 2014
Taken in the fourth round a year ago, landing Nassib shouldn’t cost a prospective team more than a third-round pick and maybe even something of low value like a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft and a later-round pick next year. The details of the trade are less important than what a team could potentially be adding for far less than what it would mean to risk a first rounder on a guy with similar—or less—upside.
Nassib doesn’t have much to show for himself on the NFL resume. He did not suit up on gameday during the regular season and his preseason snaps were rather limited, though he did build a rapport with wide receivers Julian Talley and Kris Adams rather quickly.
What lies ahead for him on the Giants’ roster in 2014 is also uncertain, though he should get an opportunity this time around to compete with Curtis Painter for the No. 2 spot behind starter Eli Manning. Some even speculate, to the dismay of many, that Nassib is in place to replace Manning should the Giants decide not to renew his contract at the end of the 2015 season. As a result, they may be unwilling to part with Nassib regardless of the cost.
But I think the Giants would be willing to listen should a team come calling. The Giants have a number of needs remaining and an added mid-round pick could turn out to be the big splash of the draft. You just never know.
As for teams in need a quarterback of the future, why wouldn’t you inquire about an athlete many thought so highly of heading into last April’s draft, which saw most of the top quarterback prospects slide purely because of a lack of need?