I’m working away this weekend but I wanted to get this tape out there anyway as part of a quick blog post.
This is Ryan Shazier versus Indiana. And I think this will allay some of the fears people have about his ability to be an impact player at the next level.
His official stat line for the game is: 19 tackles, five tackles for a loss and a sack. In his own words, “I just had a monster game. It was just ridiculous.”
Just watch this video. Watch it. Tell me you’re not impressed when you put it next to the tape above. Go on. I dare you. Resist being impressed.
For me he’s a rare player. 4.38 speed, a 42 inch vertical — and yet he hits like a ton of bricks. He’ll move sideline-to-sideline, he can drop into coverage and he can blitz. He was the heart and soul of the Ohio State defense last year — the ultimate tone setter.
I’d take him in the top-20. A team like St. Louis at #13 could easily take him — as could Arizona at #20.
The performance vs Indiana vindicates that type of grade in my opinion.
Yes he’ll need protecting by scheme. His best fit at the next level is probably the WILL. Let him play in space. Use his range. Limit the one true negative in his game (getting off blocks) and pump up the athletic qualities.
I can’t see him making it to #32 — but I’d have no problem drafting him in that spot. You can’t have enough players like this. And while a linebacker in round one isn’t a pressing need for the Seahawks unless K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith both walk in free agency next year — a trio of Wright, Bobby Wagner and Shazier would have the makings of a legendary group.
Shazier actually name-checked Wagner as a player he admires. They share similar tendencies. Putting the three of them on the field would be an antidote to Colin Kaepernick running all over Seattle as he did in the first half of the NFC Championship game.
I still think we’re looking at a receiver or an offensive lineman at #32 — but I’m not ruling out a possible wildcard like this.
Shazier’s a rare talent — and if he makes it to #32 — there’d have to be an exceptional wideout or tackle available to stop me pulling the trigger.