NFL Draft Prospect Profile: LB Ryan Shazier All Green Bay Packers All the Time


Ryan Shazier
LB Ryan Shazier

Packers prospect profile:  LB Ryan Shazier

Player Information:

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: 

  •  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.
  •  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.


Video Analysis:.

  • 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

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55 thoughts on “NFL Draft Prospect Profile: LB Ryan Shazier

  1. If there are no real studs at ILB but a group of guys with marginal differences, then I would rather drop back and pick up a solid player in the 2nd round. Our 1st pick needs to be a complete player and undisputed in the position. The Hawk/Shazier association doesn’t give me a good feeling, nor does his size. If we are going ILB, he needs to be big enough to handle NFL size punishment.

    1. This IS a real stud at ILB. Love his speed to catch Kaep on his rollouts and it says he can bend the corner with flexible ankles. Our D is looking to shake things up by moving people around to play different positions. He could line up as OLB occasionally to shake things up. That speed, if accurate, is incredible for his size. He can be used in many ways. Would not be disappointed with him in 1st.

  2. With the right professional diet and weight training, Shazier could easily put on ten pounds of muscle and not lose any speed. If C.J. Mosley isn’t available for our pick in the 1st round, I say draft him!

    1. disagree that it would be easy for him to put on 10lbs. ohio state has similar facilities and resources to any NFL team. They have dieticians on their staff as well. I like Shazier, but he will always be on the slight side in my opinion.

      1. NaVorro Bowman is considered by many to be the best ILB in the NFL today. He’s considered to be the prototypical ILB for today’s game and he is 6′ & 242lbs.

        Shazier didn’t have to bulk-up in college. He could get the job done at his current weight.

        IMO he has the right attitude and character to improve himself and his game at the next level. We need an upgrade at ILB & S if we want our defense to take us to another SB. If Mosley isn’t available, Shazier is the next best ILB in this draft.

        1. I’ve gone back and forth about Mosley and Shazier, but I’ve pretty much settled on Shazier being the IDEAL pick for the Pack! Right now I have him instead of Mosley and its not gonna change again.

          Shazier has outstanding Range at ILB. He can run sideline to sideline better than any LB in this draft. He plays physically even w/ a somewhat smaller frame. He’s only 20 or 21, a true Jr. he mature a little more physically and be able to put on another 5-8 lbs naturally, gradually. Once he showed up at the combine at 237 I took a much closer look.

          The Packers need SPEED on Defense. Shazier has speed in spades! Mosley is fast enough and at this point more instinctive, but another year or 2 and Shazier will be right there. He brings more physicality to the game than Mosley too IMO.

          Ideal draft for the Packers starts, Shazier, Moncrief WR and Terrence Brooks in the 3rd.

          BTW CBS now has Shazier #24 overall and Mosley #22. Both would be very good picks for the Pack, but Shazier would be the best choice.

          1. With all the mock drafts I’ve studied, Brooks would not be available for the Packers in the 3rd round with the 85th pick. They would have to take him in the 2nd round or trade-up for him from their 3rd round pick.

            1. I’m thinking trade up in the 3rd, but wouldn’t be opposed to getting him in the 2nd. He reminds me a lot of Nick Collins. Same range and closing speed. Doesn’t have the ball skills Collins had but good enough.

              We know Ted is gonna be moving around probably down in the 2nd for more picks, so that could facilitate a move up in the 3rd. Really high on Brooks.

              1. If Deone Bucannon is available when the Packers pick in the 2nd round, I’d take him. He can do everything Brooks can do only Bucannon is bigger, faster, and stronger. And like Shazier, Bucannon has the right attitude and character to improve himself and his play at the next level.

              2. Bucannon isn’t faster. He would be a better box Safety, but Brooks is faster (4.42 to 4.49) has better range and better coverage ability. Bucannon is bigger and a better physical player, but the NFL is moving away from the really physical punishing SS. Brooks has the advantage in coverage and was the leader and called coverages at FSU. He has the better skills for the current (and future) NFL game.

                CBS has Brooks #72 overall and Buchannon #82.

              3. Burnett was drafted to play alongside Collins. Brooks is a very close approximation of Collins. Range, Speed, Instincts, Coverage. Brooks is so much like Collins, except the ball skills. Brooks plays the run hard and closes very fast in the open field.

                Bucannon is a good player, but he’s stiff and not good in coverage. Burnett is the Packers SS but would be forced to play FS w/ Bucannon. With Burnett and Brooks the Packers would be able to use them interchangeably and disguise coverages better.

          2. For once Stroh, you and I are on the same page. Shazier is my pick at 21 assuming the draft goes as most expect and we don’t trade up/down.

            Anthony Barr, OLB – If he drops much below #10 I’d be looking to trade up to get him if I was Packer GM.

            Allan Robinson, WR – There are lots of candidates should we trade down but I think this guy is going to be a stud.

      2. Disagree. Are you guys familiar with how much athletes gain size and mature just from getting older? He’s a damn kid! He will easily be 15-20 lbs heavier in the course of the next 3-5 years just based upon that. By the way 237 lbs is hardly small!? I think you guys are way too fixated on size. Put it this way, would you think a guy that ran a 4.37 at his pro day at close to 240 lbs couldn’t play in the NFL? If so, you guys are smoking.The dude is a work out and diet freak like Romanowski was when he played. He allegedly takes pictures of his meals and texts them to his trainers before he eats. He was a consummate leader at O-State.Student of the game, watches a ton of film. He brings elite athleticism to the LB position in any league, period. I would draft him in the first without hesitation and if Mosley is gone, I almost guarantee they will take him.Him in our front 7 with JP& CMIII would be insane. The guy is a sack & tackle machine…period.He will get bigger and stronger as all NFL players do.No one is done growing at the age of 22.When I played I was a muscular 205 lbs in college. 5 years later I was 245 lbs with a lower body fat % and substantially stronger. No, I did not take roids either. Weights, nutrition, and physical maturity was all that was required. Go Pack! I would love to see this guy on our team:)

  3. no offense to the so called experts but in my opinion dee ford is a better player he had an oustanding sr bowl showing he could adapt to different team and play book to me thats the guy you would want the kind that can come in and pick up right off the bst

    1. Dee Ford is an OLB. We’ve used 1st rd picks on Matthews, Perry, and now have Neal and Peppers to some degree at OLB. Ford wouldn’t be as good at ILB as Shazier. Ford is a pass rush specialist, not nearly as well rounded as Shazier to play ILB.

      1. you do know he is a olb right? dee ford is a hybrid like mike neal he is a de/olb only difference is dee is actually good at it. as far as ilb why not wait to round 5 and get max bullough a guy that is alread an ilb that has a better track record at ilb

        1. Shazier? In the Packers 34 D he is almost a perfect Weak ILB. Hawk plays Strong (Left) ILB, Shazier fits in a 34 scheme as the Weak ILB.

          Ford is a pass rush specialist. Rarely ever dropped in coverage and isn’t that good setting the edge in run D. Think of Dee Ford as this years Bruce Irvin.

          Bullough is another Hawk, they would play the same position. We need a Weak ILB w/ sideline to sideline speed and coverage ability, not another plodding box run stuffing ILB. And ILB that can run down and Chase Kaeperdork, RG3, Wilson and Newton. We need SPEED at ILB!

        2. You ever hear of Navarro Bowman 6′ 242 or Daryl Washington 6’2 240? They play ILB and run sideline to sideline, very good coverage and can get in the backfield. You wouldn’t like that kinda player on the Packers D?

  4. Would like to get rid of the last Buckeye #1 ILB pick and his partner back there. Have to be among the worst tandems in the league. Neither can drop back and Hawk accumulates 100+ tackles every year after 6 yd gains. The ultimate pile circler. Jones signing was an absolute joke. Another Tedism. That being said, Derrick Brooks was 6′ and 135. If that 4.36 is real, with his smarts and work ethic, if both safeties and Mosely are all gone, why not? Of the 4 picks on the first 3 rounds, would like to see S, LB, C (too risky with Tretter) and TE

  5. I-21 trade to CLE for 1-26 & 3-19. 1-26 draft C.J. Mosley. Trade back into the first round with NE and draft R. Shazier for 2-21,3-21 and 4-21 and getting an extra 5th. This would fix the linebacker speed coverage in the middle of the field.

    1. JD – that would be wild to pluck the top two ILB from this draft, both speed freaks who can cover and blitz and tackle. I’d be all for it.

    1. Agreed. With his size/speed numbers, I have to wonder if he would be a good fit at safety. He was a heck of a player at Ohio State and I wouldn’t be disappointed in the least, if the Packers drafted him.

      1. Given MM’s talk of becoming “more multiple” and a desire to find players who are flexible in their positioning, why not? This guy is bigger (heavier) than Steve Atwater and runs faster.

    2. Not sure he has the elite ball skills of an NFL FS.He would easily be the largest FS in the NFL! LOL. Not sure you take on a project like that and a position change with your #1 pick? Keep him at ILB. If he’s as durable as they say, to me it’s a no brainer!

      1. The Lions 1st rd pick in the Hawk draft class? 6′ 230ish. Why?

        Shazier is not going to be moving to Safety. That makes No Sense.

        The days of the SS being a big imposing physical box safety are almost over. Teams now want SS that can play coverage on TE. They need to have some size but not always. Jimmie Ward is considered a SS at 5’11 190 due to his coverage.

    1. Only similarity between the two is Ohio St LB. Hawk was a stiffo compared to this guy.

  6. Despite all the hubbub about C.J. Mosley magically falling to the Packers because of injury history, I just can’t see it happening. That guy is the top LB in the draft. That said, Ryan Shazier falling to the Packers is a very real possibility. We’ll know for sure here in a few weeks!

    1. Anything can happen on draft day… Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be a top ten pick and he fell to the Packers at pick 26. Last year Eddie Lacy was expected to be drafted in the first round and the Packers got him in the last half of the second round.

      1. Only reason AROD was first pick in that draft was that MM was too stupid to recognize it.

    2. Ive studied both a lot. I used to want Mosley, but I’ve come to the conclusion that Shazier is the better fit for the Packers. Both have a lot to offer and would instantly improve the D, but IMO Shazier has a better game and Fit for the Packers at ILB.

      1. The Packers have a reputation for being “soft.” That’s why I prefer Mosley and Bucannon over Shazier and Brooks. If you watch film on all four of them you will see that Mosley and Bucannon play fast and can punish the ballcarrier. IMO that’s what the Packers need. Although if Mosley and/or Bucannon aren’t available when the Packers pick and we get Shazier and/or Brooks, I wouldn’t complain. They’re all good players.

        1. I’ve watched a lot on all of them. Shazier plays w/ more physicality than Mosley and also has much better speed. What I’ve seen is Mosley knocking guys down when he hits them and Mosley making tackles, but not punishing. Shazier has outstanding closing burst that comes thru on impact. Mosley might be a little more of a sure tackler at this point but Shazier really strikes people and w/ his closing burst delivers a powerful blow.

          NFL Shazier… Striking tackler — uncoils on contact.

          As far as the Safeties Bucannon is a more physically imposing safeties, but would be a liability in coverage. Brooks has closing speed and delivers a blow too. He’s just not quite as big, so its not as big of a blow, but he delivers a good shot.

          NFL on Brooks… Aggressive in run support — swoops down with urgency.
          CBS on Brooks… A big-hitter who seems to enjoy the physicality of the game.

          If all you want is a big imposing SS type, then Bucannon is the guy you would want, but Brooks plays w/ physicality too and will hit. And he’s also much better in coverage.

            1. Like I said, I like Mosley too. I would say he is more consistent and steady, but not as physical. Which is what you mentioned. Both would be very good picks and immediately improve the Packers.

              BTW I wouldn’t call BR nearly as credible as CBS or NFL. I don’t consider BR very credible at all. But if you wanna take their word over the experts hired by NFL and or CBS, that’s your mistake. I used to go there quite a bit, but they just aren’t very good.

              If you wanna go by your eyes, watch this highlite of Shazier or a Mosley highlite and I think you’ll agree Shazier strikes a blow more than Mosley.

              Compare the above video w/ Mosley’s. It shows me that Shazier delivers a more striking powerful blow, while Mosley is more of a sure tackler but doesn’t deliver the same striking power.


              1. We could could go back and forth all night. I’m sure you don’t want me to link all the talent evaluators that have Mosley rated higher than Shazier. You know better than that…

                You have your opinion and I respect that. Like I said, if the Packers can’t draft Mosley and they draft Shazier instead, I believe he has the talent, character, and attitude to be a really good ILB and I would not complain. Without doubt he would be an upgrade over what we have now!

              2. I know a lot of them rank Mosley higher, maybe even most of them. Your missing my point. I’m saying that Shazier is the better fit for the Packers! I’ve never said Mosley isn’t a good or even great player, but your too interested in arguing to see my point!

                IMO Shazier is the better player for the Packers! Because he brings more of what the Packers need.

          1. Damn it… Should read ” What I’ve seen is Shazier knocking guys down when he hits them and Mosley making tackles, but not punishing.”

  7. I totally agree with Stroh’s comments, something scares me about Mosely’s injuries!

  8. Ever video I watch of Mosley, he gets washed out, arrives late and doesn’t do anything behind the line of scrimmage. I am not sure where all the playmaking they speak of is. Haven’t watched enough Shazier and his size does scare me but I do think he will add at least 5 pounds just filling out and maturing.

  9. Maybe a stupid idea but I saw a 4.36 time in the 40. Could Shazier play safety? He seem a bit small foe ILB.

  10. With Capers, on any given play Shazier could backup and cover deep on a safety blitz but I don’t think he’d ever line up there. With his speed, instincts and bend I would want him in the middle of everything. He gives Capers incredible options! Personally, I’d be tempted to trade up 3 or 4 spots to make sure we get him. I’m pretty sure there are some teams who have him graded higher than the media draftniks do. He’s my guy this year but I’m excited to see who Ted’s guy is!

  11. Also, from the games I’ve watched them both, Shazier looked like the more physical linebacker between him and Mosley. And more durable.

  12. Too small for ILB? Not really. Hawk:6’2-242. Jones:6’3-242. Just 5 lbs. from our current starters. Mosley is the rangier type that will cover TE’s at ILB and he’s only 235lbs. Shazier seems more of a hitter but with a 4.37 40 time seems plenty capable of covering any TE as well.
    Either Shazier or Mosley works for me at 21. Or trade down into Rd.2 to get better value and another pick in a deep draft. GO PACK!

    1. Agree both would be good picks that I couldn’t argue against taking, but for me Shazier’s speed, hitting and physicality stand out and fit what the Packers need more than Mosley.

      Mosley is considered the more sure tackler, better in coverage, not as good blitzing as Shazier.

      Shazier hits harder and w/ more force but might miss a tackle now and then, is the better blitzer and runs sideline to sideline better. Shazier’s not bad in coverage, quite good actually, but Mosley is probably the best coverage LB to come out in a long time.

  13. Shazier is really kind of the perfect fit for what this defense is lacking in personnel. A true freak of nature to spy mobile QB’s and not get torched by them, I’m all in. Brad Jones will pull a hammy or something by week 3 anyways and by then Shazier will be ready to go. They need more impact plays from their ILB’s, I think this kid can bring that and in 3 years everyone will be saying “How did Shazier last til pick 21?”

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