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NFL Draft 2014 Prospect - Ohio St. Linebacker Ryan Shazier


NFL Draft 2014 Prospect - Linebacker Ryan Shazier

Photo – LB Ryan Shazier - Ohio St.

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Ryan Shazier #10 - 6-1, 240 - Ohio St - Sp. 4.45 - Rating 92
Hindu Theory: Derrick Brooks

Explosive junior linebacker is one of the best hitters and most productive defensive players in this draft class after another terrific performance last fall. Ryan completed a strong college career with an outstanding effort at the NFL Combine that helped his stock significantly. He is a very active backer with instincts, athleticism and production over his three starting seasons and makes plays all over the field. He is a cut athlete with good size and blue chip athletic ability, quickness and speed to move fluidly for any pro backer position in the 4-3 defense. His rare speed enables him to chase sideline-to-sideline with the ability to run with tight ends and backs in pass coverage. He is most effective in a run and chase mode when covered by linemen, allowing him to flow to the ball and finish with sure jarring tackles. He has keen read and react skills and moves very well with the ability to take good angles to the ball and finish with strong tackling. He has developed coverage skills and is ready for either the nickel backer role or full time starting duty. He made further strides over his final season in that area. He has fine intangibles and leadership qualities to be a team leader and major playmaker. In run support, he is well developed with the ability to stack despite marginal size. He is superior in pursuit with the ability to scrape and sift with excellent COD and open field tackling skills. He has the athleticism to match up with receivers and has shown developed coverage skills. He has a feel for reading and recognizing routes when dropping into a zone with the coverage skills necessary to effectively match up in man or zone situations. His fine speed allows him to make plays at the opposite sideline and is best when operating from a stack position. On the strongside, he can struggle vs bigger blockers and get hooked and sealed off by the tight end and washed out of the play at times. He is quicker to react to plays after learning to use his hands better to stay alive. Late in his career, he improved his hand technique and gained faster control of blockers with the strength to shed on initial contact. He is most effective when moving laterally from the backside. He shows power in his play with the ability to strike and finish with strong tackles. Over his career, he registered 14 sacks and caused 9 fumbles. He has only scratched the surface on his ability to blitz off the edge with minimal use in that role. He is an elite athlete with an impressive size/speed ratio and with some further development can compete for early starting time.
The Numbers: As a junior, he made 143 tackles with 22.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 4 PBU, 4 FF, no picks and 6 QB hurries, starting all 14 games and earning 1st team Big Ten honors. As a sophomore, he made 115 tackles with 17 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 FF, 1 interception and 10 PBU, starting 12 games. As a freshman, he was an instant success with 58 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FF and 5 TFL. In addition, he was a special teams ace. Over his three year career, he started 39 games and posted 316 tackles and 43.5 TFL with 14 sacks, 9 FF, 14 PD and 1 pick. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 6’1” and 237 lbs. with 32 3/8” arms. He did 25 reps and did not run. He added a fine 42” VL and 10’10” BJ with fine drills including a 4.21 shuttle and 6.91 in the three cone. At his pro day, he ran a lightning 4.38 time with a 1.56 ten yard split. Fast rising athlete for any position in the 4-3 defense. Excellent addition and top 25 prospect. He is similar in athleticism and production to Derrick Brooks and Lavonte David related to instincts, toughness, AA and field speed. He is the best Will backer since Brooks and capable of being an early Pro Bowl performer. Top special teams skills to be an ace in coverage and a rookie starting Will backer. Striker with great motor and intangibles.
Draft Projection: 1st Round

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.