Packers prospect profile: LB Ryan Shazier
Ryan Shazier LB, Ohio State, 6-1, 237 pounds Hometown: Pompano Beach, FL
NFL Scouting Combine:
40 time: 4.36 (unofficial at Pro Day)
Vertical jump: 42″
225 lb. bench: 25 reps
Broad jump: 10’10”
News and Notes:
Declared for NFL draft following his junior season at Ohio State. . . had over 100 tackles during his sophomore and junior years. . .44.5 tackles for loss during college career. . .Two-time first-team All Big-10 in 2012 and 2013. . .Butkus award finalist (nation’s top college linebacker) in 2013. . .tied an Ohio State record with a 20-tackle game vs. Indiana and first time a Buckeye defender had 20 tackles in a game since A.J. Hawk vs. Wisconsin in 2004.
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: Rangy athlete with terrific closing acceleration and burst. Explosive first step as a blitzer to force the QB from his spot. Very good bend off the edge with momentum to fight through blocks and disrupt the pocket. Flexible ankles and flattens easily. Uses his length well at the point of attack with good take-on strength to deliver a pop, filling hard vs. the run. Eyes are always elevated with good ball vision and anticipation. Breaks down well on the move and gets low, showing clear improvement with his tackling technique. Smart and puts himself in correct position to make plays. Sniffs out the ball and almost always finishes when he’s in the area. Never quits working to the ball and relentless in pursuit. Team leader and uplifting teammate with strong personal and football character. Versatile skill-set to drop in coverage, blitz and cover both sidelines. Lean frame and lacks elite bulk. Doesn’t have the body type to get too much bigger. Needs to continue to get stronger to better shed at the point of attack. Too easily engulfed when attacking the line of scrimmage. Sometimes content throwing his shoulder and not wrapping up. Overaggressive at times in coverage and needs patient and alert. Will lose track of his assignment in man. Needs to stay disciplined and tidy up his timing to avoid late hits and unnecessary flags. Needs to keep his composure and keep his emotions in check.
- NFL.com: Highly productive, disruptive playmaker vs. the run and pass. Shoots gaps and plays behind the line of scrimmage. Agile to slip blocks. Quick, strong hands to shed. Knifes gaps and flows very well laterally. Striking tackler — uncoils on contact. Excellent speed and range — opens up his stride in space and really covers ground. Bends naturally. Changes direction and accelerates with ease. Explosive first step as a pass rusher — shows the ability to dip, bend and run the arc low to the ground. Ample athleticism and flexibility to mark backs and tight ends. Four-down utility. Arrow is pointing up. Lacks ideal size and bulk. Still developing eyes and instincts — will diagnose and trigger more quickly down the road. Gets caught in traffic or engulfed by larger blockers when he hesitates to step downhill. Prone to overaggressiveness — occasionally overruns plays or loses cutback contain. Could stand to improve his eyes, awareness, anticipation and reactions as a zone defender. Took some time to acclimate before making an impact.
- This is a “highlight reel” and doesn’t illustrate Shazier’s weaknesses as well. Sorry for the music
- He wore three different numbers while at Ohio State (2, 10, 48) so try to keep up
- Decisive and shows good quickness in getting to the ball carrier. Sometimes takes bad angles to get there faster
- Physical at the point of attack but needs to wrap up more consistently. “Catch tackles” larger and more physical backs such as an Adrian Peterson
- Instinctive in pass coverage but this is said to be a weak area of his game
- Diagnoses and plays the run quickly. Will need to watch for play action in NFL
- Appears to be a “lunch pail” type player. Plays hard and works hard
If drafted by the Packers:
Shazier projects as a first-round pick on most boards and has already been mocked to the Packers by a few. He seems to have the type of work ethic and character that the Packers look for in a player. Didn’t miss much time due to injury and is said to be durable. He would need to be Green Bay’s first round pick, most likely. He’s an inside linebacker in the base 3-4 and would most likely be replacing or at least competing with Brad Jones. Shazier would bring the athleticism that has been lacking from the inside linebackers since the loss of Desmond Bishop in 2012. The Packers need an active linebacker that can get into the backfield and after ball carriers as well as the quarterback. Shazier showed a solid ability to do just that in college. If the nose tackle can disrupt up front and occupy blockers, Shazier would seemingly flourish in the Packers defensive scheme with an easier path to the backfield. He would also be an immediate contributor on special teams. If his health holds up and his character is what it is said to be, the Packers could end up with one of the big steals of this draft in Shazier. Many would still prefer Alabama’s C.J. Mosley but Shazier seems worthy of being in that same conversation.——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone: