Once upon a time, Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib had a gut feeling he'd be picked by the Buffalo Bills in the 2013 NFL Draft. Now that he's drawing significant interest from other teams - he names the Jets, Jaguars, Eagles, Cardinals and Browns as teams that have shown the most interest - that gut feeling is gone.
"I thought I had a gut feeling, but I really don't (anymore)," Nassib said Thursday morning in an interview with WGR 550's The Howard Simon Show.
One of the hottest names in this year's draft class at the moment - particularly at quarterback - Nassib noted that he'd still be disappointed if the Bills passed on him next week, for one chief reason: the established relationships he has with Bills head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
"I've been with Coach Hackett every day for the last three years, so we're almost like family, me and him," Nassib told Simon. "He's almost like my older brother - he's not quite my dad or an uncle, he's kind of like my old, older brother - but it is a business. And I'd understand."
The Bills met with Nassib multiple times in Syracuse during the pre-draft process, and while Nassib did not discuss scheme with Hackett, he did sit in a meeting room with Marrone and the rest of the Bills' front office.
"I didn't meet with Coach Hackett - didn't really have to. There's no point in us watching our own old film, (because) he's already yelled at me for it - no, I'm kidding," Nassib joked. "But when I met with Marrone, he really didn't say much. It was really just the other guys getting to know me a little bit, really spearheading the interview."
A three-year starter at Syracuse, the Philadelphia native will be returning home to watch the draft next week, and he's expecting to hear his name called somewhere in the vicinity of the late first or early second round. If the Bills are the team that happens to pick him, he sees unfinished business on the horizon with Marrone and Hackett.
"I have great relationships with both those guys. We had a great time at Syracuse," Nassib told Simon. "Having the opportunity to continue my career with them, I think it'd be just absolutely awesome. I feel like we just scratched the surface on being able to be a good football team, and really starting to take off."