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Instead of going with the obvious choices, the Steelers went with Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is a quality rusher off of the edge.
The 2014 NFL Draft rolled on and the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the clock at No. 15 overall. With the way the draft board was currently looking, cornerback Darqueze Dennard and offensive tackle Zack Martin were the most appealing picks for the team. Even ILB CJ Mosely was still on the board. But the Steelers made a swerve and selected OLB Ryan Shazier.
In his three years at Ohio State, Ryan Shazier was comfortable playing inside linebacker and outside linebacker. Considering he was a defensive end in high school, his versatility — and the theory that he’d be effective in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defensive scheme — was one of his most obvious attributes heading into the draft.
Consider the Steelers, who drafted Shazier with the No. 15 overall pick, sold. And now that Shazier is a member of the Pittsburgh franchise, expect him to compete for a starting spot in the team’s 3-4 scheme that’s run by Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau.
There’s little doubt the 6-foot-1, 237-pound Shazier had impressive workouts in the draft leadup, running a ridiculous 4.36 40 time to go with a 42-inch vertical leap and a 10-foot-10-inch broad jump.
As for the immediate impact Shazier could have on his new team.
“I’m going to say Ryan Shazier from Ohio State is a player that could have an immediate impact from this draft class,” NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said recently. ” … As the NFL game has evolved into a passing game, Shazier can blitz and he can cover. That’s what he does really well and he’ll be successful.”
So what does everyone think of this pick? Good, bad or oh hell no….. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.