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Is Ryan Nassib More Than a Career Backup?


Image via Fanspeak/Flickr

The Buffalo Bills parted ways with Ryan Fitzpatrick today, which has led to increased speculation that they might draft Ryan Nassib. After all, he spent the last few years playing in upstate New York and his college coach is now the Bills head coach. If that isn’t a slam dunk equation, I don’t know what is!!! (sarcasm off)In trying to predict Nassib’s NFL ceiling, let’s compare him to other quarterbacks with similar college profiles: Louisville’s Brian Brohm and Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins. All three players were multi-year starters in college and have almost identical attributes.

QB Draft Selection Ht. Wt. Wonderlic B jump V jump 20 shuttle 3 cone
Brian Brohm 2008 56 (GB) 74.9 230 32 115 30 4.55 7.13
Kirk Cousins 2012 102 (WSH) 74.6 214 33 109 28.5 4.5 7.05
Ryan Nassib 2013 ??? 74.1 227 ??? 105 28.5 4.53 7.34

When projecting a college quarterback, we want to see how they fare against the best competition on their schedule in their final collegiate season. Who cares what numbers they put up against Stony Brooks of the world? From here on out, we will isolate on games played against competition that ended the season with a .500 or better record. What we find is that all three players faced a similar quantity of tough opponents and mirrored each other in their ability to throw touchdowns in those games:


Further proof of their commonalities, all three attempted about the same number of passes per game and completed them at almost identical rates:


Check out the pattern when we focus on yards per attempt, touchdown rate, and interception rate:


Given the body of work, it should be no surprise that they grade similarly through either QB rating system:

QB NCAA QB Rating NFL QB Rating
Brian Brohm 138.8 91.5
Kirk Cousins 132.4 87.5
Ryan Nassib 131.5 86.5

Ryan Nassib is a fine quarterback who will likely spend most of his twenties on an NFL roster. But knowing what you do about Cousins and Brohm (ahem, Buffalo fans), would you be racing to the podium to draft them as a franchise-savior? Probably not. After considering the evidence, what makes you think that Ryan Nassib is going to be any different?

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