The 2014 NFL Draft is right around the corner and the Kansas City Chiefs hold the 23rd overall pick. It’s very likely that the Chiefs will select a wide receiver in the first round, but maybe the team will decide to go in a more unexpected direction with pick 23. Perhaps Kansas City will select a linebacker, and maybe it will be Ryan Shazier of Ohio State.
Ryan Shazier played for the Buckeyes for three seasons and decided to forego his senior season to enter the draft. Shazier racked up 317 tackles, 15 sacks, nine forced fumbles, and one interception, which was returned for a touchdown (Source: Sports Reference).
Ryan Shazier Combine Results
Bench press – 25 reps
Vertical jump – 42.0 inch*
Broad jump – 130.0 inch*
3-cone drill – 6.91 seconds*
20-yard shuttle – 4.21 seconds
* = Combine top performer
(Courtesy of NFL.com)
While the Chiefs have a lot of talented linebackers already on the roster, Shazier would be a good pick due to his amazing ability to stop both the quarterback and the running back. Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com had this to say about Shazier’s strengths:
“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.”
The analysts from NFL Draft Scout all think Shazier is a first round pick, but have him going at different times. None of the analysts think the Chiefs will draft Shazier. In fact, two of them (Rob Rang and Pat Kirwan) think he will make it one pick past the Chiefs and wind up as a Cincinnati Bengal.
While it is unlikely the Chiefs will draft a linebacker in the first round, Shazier would be a solid pick and would go great alongside the other talented linebackers on Kansas City’s roster.
“Team leader and uplifting teammate with strong personal and football character. Versatile skill-set to drop in coverage, blitz and cover both sidelines. Very productive career with back-to-back seasons with 115-plus tackles, including a conference-best 143 stops in 2013.” – Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout
For all of our linebacker scouting reports, just click here.