The Giants swapped their fourth-round picks and sent their sixth-round selection to the Arizona Cardinals to move up six spots to grab the Syracuse quarterback.
Some thought Nassib could go as high as the first round but when he slipped to the fourth, the Giants decided he was too good a value to pass up on. Nassib was the fifth quarterback selected in the draft.
The Giants obviously have Eli Manning, who has started 135 consecutive regular-season games and counting. But they have been thinking about bringing in a young quarterback to eventually groom behind their franchise player for "a while" now, according to general manager Jerry Reese.
"When (USC's Matt) Barkley went (to open the fourth round), we were like, 'Wow, this guy is not going to be there,' " Reese said of his original fourth-round pick at 116th overall. "To be honest, we thought the kid would probably get picked in the second row (on our board) and he is there in the fourth row, still on the board."
"We didn't have Barkley rated as high," Reese later added. "(Nassib has) got the arm strength. We like the accuracy about him. We like that 'it' factor on him. When I first watched him he reminded me of the quarterback at Cincinnati (Andy Dalton) that played at TCU."
Nassib passed for 3,891 yards and 28 touchdowns while throwing for at least 300 yards in six games last season for Syracuse. He won a total of 21 games and is the fourth player in Big East history to throw for over 9,000 yards in a career.
Some thought Buffalo's new head coach Doug Marrone, Nassib's coach at Syracuse, would take him in the first round. But Buffalo chose Florida State's EJ Manuel in the first round instead.
"Yeah, I always thought I was a first-round talent," Nassib said of if he thought he was going to go early. "That is just the way you think of yourself when you are confident in your ability. I thought the situation with Buffalo was going to go a little differently. But to be honest with you, I can't be happier with where I am at now."
When Nassib slipped to the third day of the draft, the Giants made up their minds Saturday morning that they would take him. When they found a trade partner in the Cardinals, they made the move to draft their first quarterback since taking Rhett Bomar out of Sam Houston State in the fifth round in 2009.
The Giants now have four quarterbacks on the roster with Manning, David Carr, Nassib and Curtis Painter. They will likely carry Manning, Carr and Nassib to allow their rookie to continue to develop and learn from Manning and Carr.
"If he doesn't ever play, that would be great," Reese said. "That is a good problem to have. But if he needs to play, we are hoping that whatever time that is, that he will be ready to go."
Nassib is the second Syracuse player the Giants have taken in this draft, joining the team's first-round pick, offensive lineman Justin Pugh. Nassib was thrilled when Tom Coughlin called and the Giants ended his long wait.
"To be honest with you, I blacked out a little bit," Nassib admitted when he was asked what Coughlin said to him.
Nassib says he is eager to learn behind a quarterback he has tried emulating.
"I understand he is a durable quarterback," Nassib said. "And I always compared myself to Eli. It is crazy that I am going to be playing with him. He is a tough, durable, smart guy that doesn't say much. That is the kind of quarterback I always wanted to be.
"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."