We here at the Big East blog try to stay away from doing a post on every single All-America team that comes out because there are many, many of them, and only a handful count toward getting a player to consensus status.
But one came out today that cannot be ignored.
That would be the Pro Football Weekly All-America team.
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib took first-team honors. You read that right. Now, Pro Football Weekly does things a little differently than every other publication that puts out an All-America team. Here is the explanation from Nolan Nawrocki:
PFW’s All-America team annually honors college football’s most talented players and is determined based on extensive evaluation and considerable feedback from NFL evaluators, taking into consideration how players grade out both in their assignments and by the quality of critical playing traits. PFW honors are distinguished by the premium placed on skill, football temperament and instincts and seek to recognize players we expect will become outstanding pros. Players are expected to have contributed for the bulk of the season to qualify. Production is considered, but not weighed nearly as heavily as how much of an impact players make on their teams. Extra attention is paid to traits such as toughness, intelligence and competitiveness, all traits that we believe correlate heavily to future NFL success.
So, Pro Football Weekly went with Nassib not because he was the best college quarterback this season, but because it believes he has some of the best pro potential of any quarterback in America. Nassib had an outstanding season to be sure, leading the Big East in total offense (312.3 ypg) and passing (301.6 ypg). He also set the Orange single-season records for attempts (448), completions (283), yards (3,619) and touchdowns (24) in 2012.
Interestingly, Nassib is not listed among Mel Kiper's top five senior quarterbacks. The latest evaluation from ESPN NFL draft experts has Nassib as the No. 8 player at his position, though he is graded as a "good prospect."