One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is former Ohio State Buckeye Ryan Shazier. Shazier, wa 6'1 237lbs. linebacker, is one of the more if not the most athletic prospects in the entire draft. Shazier is rated as the 29th overall prospect by CBS Sports, and is the 3rd overall outside linebacker prospect.
During Shazier's three-year career at Ohio St. he totaled 317 total tackles, 45.5 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks, 1 interception, 16 pass deflections, and 9 forced fumbles. His best season came in 2013 when totaled 144 tackles, 23.5 for a loss, 7 sacks, 4 pass deflections, and 4 forced fumbles. Shazier led the Buckeyes in tackles in 2012 and 2013 to join an elite list of players, including James Laurinaitis, A.J. Hawk, and Pepper Johnson to lead the Buckeyes in tackles in consecutive years.
Outside Linebacker, Junior, Ohio State
Height: 6'1 Weight: 237lbs 40 Time: 4.36 (Pro Day)
Arm Length: 32 3/8" Hands: 10"
Bench Press: 25 reps Vertical Jump: 42.0 inches
Broad Jump: 130.0 inches 3 Cone Drill: 6.91 seconds
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.21 seconds
- Durability: Shazier has played in all 39 games during his three-year career, and only has missed sometime during the Spring practices.
- Speed/Range: He's a sideline to sideline player who has the speed and explosiveness to make plays all over the field.
- Coverage: Shazier is very good in coverage. In 2012 he totaled 12 pass deflections. Has the speed to cover slots receivers, and is athletic enough to cover NFL tight ends.
- Motor: I love players with high motors, and Shazier is one of those guys. He never gives up on a play and will give the same effort at the end of the game as he would in the beginning of the game.
- Pass Rush: Is explosive off the edge to be an effective blitzer at the next level. His seven sack junior campaign shows that he's an effective blitzer.
- Three down player: I believe Shazier is a three down NFL player in the right system. He can play inside or outside, and is a scheme-diverse player.
- Team Leader: Shazier is a team leader and a uplifting teammate with strong personal and football character.
- Size: The question surrounding Shazier is his size and lean frame. He needs to bulk up some, but I trust NFL strength and conditioning coaches to fix that. Shazier has already bulked up to 237lbs, and could still added another 5 or 7 pounds without losing any of his speed.
- Wrap Up: Shazier like most college players aren't the best wrap up tacklers. He sometimes is content with throwing his shoulder and not wrapping up the ball carrier. That can be fixed by coaching.
- Overaggressiveness: He sometimes over runs a play or loses the cut back contain.
- Shedding Blocks: Gets caught in traffic or engulfed by larger blockers. Has to improve that area of his game.
Does Shazier fit with the Broncos?
I think he does.
The Broncos have a big need at Inside linebacker. They have tried filling that spot with veterans like Keith Brooking,Stewart Bradley, Paris Lenon, and Wesley Woodyard in recent years, and none of them have been great. After addressing the secondary and pass rush via Free Agency this offseason I believe an Inside Linebacker is high on their list.
Shazier is a versatile linebacker who would give Fox and Del Rio a guy they can lineup in multiple of schemes. Scheme versatility seems to be a thing that they like in their defensive players. Shazier can also blitz, cover, and isn't terrible against the run. I think Shazier is a perfect fit for this Broncos defense. The Broncos have bigs like Knighton, Vickerson, Williams, Jackson and Wolfe to occupy blockers to let Shazier roam and make plays. He can play along side Danny Trevathan in sub-packages, and can help to replace the hole left behind by Wesley Woodyard.
His speed and athleticism will give the Broncos another playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.