The former coach and current ESPN draft analyst spoke today about quarterbacks and said if he could pick anyone, he would take Ryan Nassib of Syracuse.
“I think he can scramble for first downs,” Gruden said. “If we want to run the read option, I think he can execute those plays. He’s really sharp mentally. This is a guy that’s been trained by Doug Marrone, formerly of the New Orleans Saints. So he’s been in a really ambitious offensive scheme, taking care of the ball. He’s proven he’s tough, durable. I like his upside.”
Gruden was then asked about USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Here’s what he said:
“I think Barkley’s going to be a starter in the league at some point. Obviously, he’s coming off an injury. He’s done an excellent job rehabbing that. I saw him make all the throws personally with my own two eyes. Other than that, he’s going to have to function as a pocket passer.
“I don’t think he’s going to be a scrambling, option‑style quarterback, obviously. I think he’s going to be a guy that relies on his system, complete execution around him. I think his supporting cast is going to be important to him. But I’ve seen Matt Barkley throw the ball extremely well and in tight windows, and he’s done it for four years. What I love about Barkley is his experience, not only at USC, but he’s also started for four years in high school at a pretty doggone good high school program at Mater Dei. So, you’re getting a kid that can function in the pocket with great anticipation and accuracy. I think he has enough arm strength to be a very, very good at throwing the ball down the field.”