In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2014 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on May 8th.
We continue the series with a scouting report of Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier.
Name: Ryan Shazier
School: Ohio State
Weight: 237 pounds
Position: Outside Linebacker
Ryan Shazier’s impressive career at Ohio State has him in some pretty lofty company. He led the team in tackles in both 2012 and 2013, joining a select group of players that includes James Laurinaitis, A.J. Hawk, Chris Spielman and Pepper Johnson, to have done so in consecutive years. Because of his incredible production combined with a unique skillset, Shazier is climbing up draft boards.
The outside linebacker was arguably the most productive defensive player in the Big Ten last season. He led the conference in tackles with 134, in addition to 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four forced fumbles. In just three seasons, Shazier finished his career ranking 15th in school history with 315 total tackles, and ranks sixth all-time in career solo tackles (208) and tackles-for-loss (44.5). Had he returned for his senior season, he was on pace to shatter the Buckeye records for both.
Experts and analysts alike can’t stop raving about Shazier’s range. The outside linebacker is a true sideline-to-sideline athlete who covers amazing ground, which is a quality defensive coordinators covet. He routinely chases down all sorts of ball carriers from behind with excellent closing speed. Shazier possesses an explosive first step as a pass rusher and excels at shooting the gaps against the run. With his playmaking ability in both phases of the game, many expect him to be an every down linebacker who rarely comes off the field.
Shazier’s detractors point to his lean build and less than ideal frame. But with proper training on strength and conditioning at the NFL level, many experts believe he can remedy those shortcomings in no time. Thus, while early on many considered Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr to be the top tier outside linebackers, Shazier has swiftly shot up draft boards and is now mentioned in the same breath.
Bench Press: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 42.0 inches
Broad Jump: 130.0 inches
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers’ front office staff, coaches or executives.