2014 NFL Draft Profile: Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio State


Sep 28, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) pumps up the crowd during the fourth quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Buckeyes beat the Badgers 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier is a very interesting prospect.  On tape, he appears to be an excellent linebacker.  He always seems to sniff out the ball on plays and usually makes the right decision on those plays.  However, he can have mental lapses at times that result in unnecessary penalties as well.

Shazier would be best fit in a defense that can best use him as a weakside linebacker in a zone scheme or one that runs a limited amount of man coverage.  He would be effective in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense.

One of the best parts of his game is also his most confusing.  His physical play to disrupt wide receivers, force fumbles, and rush to the quarterback is amazing.   His passion and motor are excellent and never seems to run out of gas.  But he can also use that physical play and motor to be a detriment to his team by getting flagged for penalties after the play is over.

Here are his statistics over three years at Ohio State:

Oct 6, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) celebrates in the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

38 games played

28 games started

306 total tackles

201 solo tackles

14 sacks

9 forced fumbles

44.5 tackles for a loss


  • Strong off-field character
  • Team leader
  • Quick moves and reactions
  • Never ending motor
  • HARD hitter


  •  Not prototypical linebacker size
  • Needs to concentrate on tackling technique
  • Can draw too many penalty flags for physical/late play
  • Occasionally gets lost in man coverage

Fit For The Vikings

He would fill a hole at weakside linebacker for Minnesota.

My Take

Shazier seems like the kind of player that new head coach Mike Zimmer would love.  Physical and hard working players don’t come around too often, and I don’t think he’s quite worth selecting #8 overall, but if he is available for some reason, Minnesota should heavily consider using their second round pick on him