Doug Marrone passed on Ryan Nassib in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night, opting instead to go with Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel with the 16th overall pick. After a lot of speculation that Nassib would be that pick, Syracuse fans are left scratching their heads wondering why Doug Marrone, the man that claims he bleeds Orange would forgo his college quarterback that helped get him the NFL job he abandoned Syracuse for. The match seemed perfect, as Nassib would be perfect at getting the ball in the hands of CJ Spiller and Stevie Johnson to make plays in the open field.
So why not Nassib? Was Marrone never high on him to begin with? Was all the praise for Ryan in the media from Marrone throughout his career overblown just to give him confidence? What makes EJ Manuel a better pick for Buffalo than Ryan Nassib?
Marrone went on Mike and Mike this morning on ESPN Radio where he was asked some questions about the pick.
On when he knew EJ Manuel was the right pick for the Bills:
He was the guy right from the beginning.
On why he passed up on his college quarterback Ryan Nassib:
At the end of the day, we made the best decision for the Buffalo Bills.
There were some pretty critical messages from both current and former Syracuse players on Twitter following Marrone’s pass. Fans were also less than pleased, wondering why he wouldn’t even refer to Ryan by name in any of the questions asked this morning. Marrone’s loyalty aspect has without a doubt been called in to question, and a lot of Orange Nation isn’t happy about it.
But personally, I believe that isn’t fair. Think what you may about Marrone leaving Syracuse (I was equally as disappointed), but now that he is in the NFL, he has no more loyalty to Syracuse University. Sure, he is an alumni. But he can’t and won’t (and shouldn’t) worry about Syracuse Football anymore now that he is gone. You can call him a “disloyal idiot” like Andy Katz if you want, but he doesn’t owe anything to Syracuse anymore.
I have my opinions of him amidst my disappointment of him leaving his dream job for the Bills, but now that he is gone I can’t hold anything against him. He has to do what is best for his current job, and if he truly believes EJ Manuel is the best fit for the Buffalo Bills then so be it. I am a big Nassib fan and have defended him numerous times throughout his career, but it’s not like he was a standout head and shoulders above these other quarterbacks and Marrone passed him over. They each bring a unique style, and as much as it sucks, Manuel may be a better fit for Buffalo. Time will tell if this was a good pick for the Bills or not, but I for one hope Nassib has success wherever he goes. He is the smartest quarterback in the draft, and you can’t teach intelligence in football.