The 2013 NFL Draft was a surprising experience for Ryan Nassib. He admitted Saturday that he did not expect to be avaiable in the fourth round. He also did not expect the team that ultimately selected him, by trading up for the 110th overall selection, to be the New York Giants.
"I'm a little bit surprised at how long I lasted. Everyone was just hyping me up, I guess," Nassib said. "But I was even more surprised by the Giants. Brief to nearly any conversations with them. So it all came as a big surprise.
"I haven't watched TV in three days. So I couldn't tell you one thing of what was going on. So when they called it was a complete surprise."
The Giants traded with the Arizona Cardinals, moving from the 116th overall pick to the 110th to select the former Syracuse quarterback. The Giants also surrendered their sixth-round pick, 187th overall.
"I'm just so excited for the opportunity. I understand that he [Eli Manning] is a durable quarterback. I always compared myself to Eli. And it is crazy that I'm going to be playing with him. He is a tough, durable, smart guy; doesn't say much. That is the kind of quarterback I always wanted to be," Nassib said. "Being able to sit behind him and learn from him - like some great quarterbacks did in the past - learn from an elite veteran like the Aaron Rodgers of the world - it is going to be a great opportunity for me."
Two of the Giants' draft picks in 2013 have come Syracuse. The Giants selected Orange center Justin Pugh with their first-round pick, 19th overall.
Many analysts had expected the Buffalo BIlls, where Nassib's former coach at Syracuse -- Doug Marrone -- is now the head coach, to select Nassib. Instead, they selected E.J. Manuel in the first round.
"I thought the situation with Buffalo was going to go a little bit different, but to be honest with you," Nassib said. "I would be remiss to tell you that I was a little disappointed. But at the end of the day when one door closes, another one opens. So I can't tell you how ecstatic I am for now being a New York Giant."
GM Jerry Reese said earlier Saturday that "We have Eli in the prime of his career and you actually hope this quarterback never plays. Again, what if something happens? We want to have a guy ready to go."
There is also the possibility that, with Manning not being anywhere near the end of his career, that the Giants could eventually flip Nassib to another team for a cache of draft picks.
Nassib seems to understand the situation.
"If something were to happen to Eli, I feel like I can step in and be prepared enough to be able to take over the position. It is going to be huge shoes to fill but I'll be ready for that. I'm ready for the challenge. He is a durable guy. God knows how he plays every game; plays every snap," Nassib said. "And if the opportunity outside of the New York Giants happens. But right now all I'm worried about is being a New York Giant. I can't tell you how excited I am about it."