NFL Draft: Booms, Busts, and a Hometown Hero

Mike McCarthy

The NFL Draft is perhaps one of the most exciting series of days for any football fan. Performance on Draft day has helped to build franchises, but has also led to the failure of others. Hardcore fans remember the all-time busts as clearly as they remember the all time greats. And the fans are not afraid to let their voices be heard.  This year was no different.

The 2013 Draft Class will be remembered for an abundance of talent at the offensive and defensive line positions. Half of the top ten picks this year were offensive linemen, and three more were defensive ends. Not only were the linemen big, but they were extremely athletic. Lane Johnson, the Eagles’ first round choice (fourth overall), ran a 4.72 second forty yard dash, jumped a vertical leap of 34 inches, and ran a 4.52 second shuttle. These numbers are insane for an offensive linemen who, stereotypically, are slower than skill position players. Johnson was a popular pick among Eagles fans who are hoping for a revamped and fast paced offense this upcoming season. NFL analyst Mike Mayock said, “I think he makes a ton of sense — he’s the most athletic offensive tackle in the Draft. Chip Kelly’s gonna run an up-tempo (offense) and maximize the number of snaps per game. He’s gotta have offensive linemen that can run, that are in great shape.” The Eagles looked to stock up on young offensive talent in the first few rounds as they took Johnson in the first, Stanford TE Zach Ertz in the second, and USC QB Matt Barkley in the fourth.

Many Malvern students and alumni were watching the Draft closely in hopes of seeing Malvern alumnus Ryan Nassib selected. Nassib graduated from Malvern in 2008 and continued his football career at Syracuse.  He proceeded to shatter many of Syracuse’s school passing records, some formerly held by former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. Nassib now holds the school’s records in passing yards (9,060), completions (780), and average passing yards per game (201.3).

Nassib was selected in the fourth round by the New York Giants with the 110th overall pick. Despite being predicted to be chosen earlier, New York seems like a good fit for Nassib who will stay in New York state and be able to learn from the Giants’ elite QB, Eli Manning. Manning is 32 years old, which will allow for Nassib to compete for the starting job soon.

Nassib’s Friar brothers will be watching.