According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New Orleans Saints added a new arm to their training camp roster on Monday, signing former New York Giants backup Ryan Nassib. The 27-year-old Nassib is a 6-foot-2, 227-pound fourth-year pro that was drafted in the 4th round by the G-Men out of Syracuse in the 2013 draft.
Nassib grew up in West Chester, Pa., and attended Malvern High School. He then went on to Syracuse, where he was a three-year starter and completed over 60 percent of his passes with 70 touchdowns and only 28 interceptions over his collegiate career. After earning All-American honors in 2012, Nassib was drafted by the Giants in the fourth round of that spring's draft. As a backup to one of the most durable quarterbacks in the NFL, Eli Manning, Nassib has only appeared in five regular season games in his career; completing 9-of-10 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Ryan's younger brother, Carl, was a star defensive end for Penn State, and was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft by the Cleveland Browns.
The Saints were rumored to have heavy interest in Ryan Nassib entering the 2013 draft. Nassib's college coach for all four seasons was Doug Marrone. Marrone was part of Sean Payton's first coaching staff in New Orleans, and served as the Saints offensive coordinator from 2006-08. Some of the early draft projections in 2013 actually had the talented Syracuse signal-caller being drafted as early as the middle part of the first round. One such projection had Nassib being drafted with the 16th pick, owned by the Buffalo Bills and their new head coach in 2013, Doug Marrone (the Bills went on to select quarterback E.J. Manuel from Florida State).
Some of the traits that intrigued New Orleans and numerous other scouts as Nassib was coming out of college might sound familiar to Saints fans. He is a physically tough player who is willing to stand in the pocket to make the tough throws. Nassib only has "average" athletic ability, but a fierce competitor that does whatever it takes to make a play. He enjoys playing an up-tempo style, and has shown the ability to make an accurate throw on the move. Nassib's mechanics still need some work, even after four years in the league. He does have good arm strength, a quick release, and very good accuracy on short and intermediate routes. His "gunslinger" mentality can frustrate coaches, but Nassib does have the football intellect to study opposing offenses and learn the Saints offensive system. He was also known for his toughness and leadership abilities at Syracuse, and has shown some nice potential in preseason action while with the Giants.
The Saints quarterback situation has been criticized in recent years, due to the fact that they don't seem to have a plan in place for Drew Brees' eventual retirement. They did draft Garrett Grayson with a 3rd round pick in 2015, in hopes that the former Colorado State product could be groomed as Brees' replacement. After two years, there are many indications that this plan will not pan out.
The Saints also signed Chase Daniel, a former Saints back-up himself, to a one year contract this offseason. The 30-year-old Daniel will provide insurance as a capable backup this season, but is hardly the answer for the future. Nassib will certainly have the chance to unseat Grayson as the Saints No. 3 quarterback, and perhaps even set the stage for the Ryan Nassib could be in a perfect with the New Orleans Saints. He has the opportunity to learn behind one of the best to ever play the game in Brees, and looks to be in the type of offense tailor-made for his skill set.