Giants owner John Mara says his team’s surprising decision to draft quarterback Ryan Nassib came as a surprise to everyone within the team’s draft room, too — because none of them thought Nassib would still be on the board in the fourth round.
Mara said on NFL AM that Nassib was higher rated than everyone else available by such a large margin that G.M. Jerry Reese simply had to go get him.
“We came into the third day of the draft, and he’s sitting on top of our board — by far and away the best player we had left,” Mara said. “I talked to Jerry and Tom Coughlin about it and we agreed that you have to respect your board. Your scouts and your personnel people put so much time putting that together. If you just continue to take the highest player on your board, in the long run you’re going to be better off as an organization.”
As long as Eli Manning is around, Nassib won’t see the field. And the Giants hope Manning is around for many years to come. But Mara said the Giants have to be realistic about the possibility that they could need a good backup to Manning at some point.
“It’s been a while since we’ve drafted a quarterback,” Mara said. “We’ve been very, very fortunate that Eli has been healthy for so long, has not missed a snap in I don’t know how long, but you have to get ready to groom somebody just in case. The guy was a quality player in college. We think he has what it takes to be a quality player in the NFL. To me, it was an obvious choice for us. He was so high on our board that we expected him to be gone on the first or second day, and we were shocked that he was still there on the third day.”
With mock drafts having Nassib going as high as No. 8 overall, it certainly was a shock that he lasted to No. 110. And a shock that the Giants were the team that finally broke his fall.