NFL Draft Ends With Teams Turning Attention to Quarterbacks

The New York Giants selected Ryan Nassib of Syracuse University, one of eight quarterbacks taken on the final day of the National Football League draft.

In all, 11 quarterbacks were chosen with Nassib, Southern California’s Matt Barkley, Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones among those sitting through two full days wondering if they would have a pro team.

“We came in this morning and he was sticking out there and we talked about it, went over it and just said if this guy is still around or close to our range, we should really consider something happening with him,” Marc Ross, the Giants’ director of college scouting, said of Nassib.

Nassib, who set school records as a senior last season by throwing for 26 touchdowns and 3,749 yards, was taken in the fourth round as the 110th overall pick.

The Syracuse quarterback said he was “a little bit surprised at how long I lasted. Everyone was just hyping me up. But I was even more surprised by the Giants.”

Nassib will be playing backup to Eli Manning who hasn’t missed a game since 2005.

Eli’s Understudy

“I understand that he is a durable quarterback,” Nassib told reporters. “I always compared myself to Eli and it is crazy that I’m going to be playing with him.”

Besides Nassib, the Giants chose Richmond defensive back Cooper Taylor, Ohio guard Eric Herman and Massachusetts running back Michael Cox in the final rounds. Syracuse tackle Justin Pugh was their first-round choice, followed by Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore.

Barkley went to the Philadelphia Eagles as 98th overall, Wilson was picked by the Oakland Raiders two selections later and Jones got the nod from the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 115th pick.

Barkley, 22, was projected to be a first-round pick in last year’s draft, but opted to return to school for his senior season. He threw for 36 touchdowns, but missed time with a shoulder injury as USC struggled to a 7-6 record after opening the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press media poll.

After waiting through three rounds and two days, Barkley said he had “a lot of emotions going through my head.”

Just Barkley

“No matter what has happened in the past two days, I have a home now in Philadelphia,” he told ESPN yesterday. “I can’t wait to hit the field. It doesn’t say Barkley, fourth round on my jersey, it just says Barkley.”

The New York Jets selected Virginia tackle Oday Aboushi, Michigan guard William Campbell and Wake Forest running back Tommy Bohanon during the final day. They join Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner, Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and Kent State tackle Brian Winters.

Three players from the Ivy League were drafted: Cornell tackle J.C. Tretter to the Green Bay Packers, Harvard running back Kyle Juszczyk to the Baltimore Ravens and Princeton linebacker Mike Catapano to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The NFL teams drafted 254 players, including 52 defensive backs, 33 linebackers and one nose tackle.

South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham was taken by the Indianapolis Colts as the final draft selection , a role that’s become known as “Mr. Irrelevant.”

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