Jon Gruden's pick at quarterback this year is Syracuse's Ryan Nassib

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,John Keim

He's not the most scrutinized quarterback in this draft. That honor belongs to West Virginia's Geno Smith. But Syracuse's Ryan Nassib might be the hottest name. As the NFL Draft draws closer, Nassib is the one more than a few analysts like the most.

That includes former NFL coach and "Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden, who worked with Nassib as part of his quarterback camp series on ESPN.

When asked on a conference call Monday which quarterback he would choose, he opted for Nassib. It was clear even before that question that Gruden liked Nassib a lot -- yes, Gruden gushes about quarterbacks, but he kept singling out one Monday.

"I like Nassib as a sleeper in the draft," Gruden said. "He threw some tight window completions, and that's hard to find sometimes in college football. You don't see a lot of contested tight window throws under duress. Nassib proved he could make difficult plays when he didn't have a clean pocket."

Nassib does not have great size, though he's big enough at 6-foot-2, 227 pounds. He's not a burner, either, after being timed in the 40-yard dash at 5.06 seconds. But playing for a mediocre team, Nassib put up big numbers as a senior: 3,749 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. Though not fast, he did rush for 142 yards.

"He's a nuisance runner," Gruden said. "He can scramble for first downs and if you want to run the read option. He's sharp mentally. He's proven he's tough and durable. I like his upside."

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner