Nov 23, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Shane Wynn (1) runs with the ball after a catch and tries to avoid Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (2) in the first quarter of the game at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes beat Indiana Hoosiers 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Shazier: A great fit for the Green Bay Packers


Just about everybody agrees that the Green Bay Packers have three players that are their top targets in the first round: North Carolina TE Eric Ebron, Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Louisville S Calvin Pryor.

If one of these three players  is available when the Packers make their selection at the 21st spot, that available player will be the pick. However, Ebron, Clinton-Dix, and Pryor all seem likely to be gone by the time the Packers make their selection, while another popular name thrown around with the Packers, Alabama ILB C.J. Mosley, also will most likely be gone. But if he is there and the other three are not, Mosley should be the pick.

So, who should the Packers take if none of the four players that have been previously mentioned are available?

Ryan Shazier was the leader of the Ohio State defense and while the Buckeyes’ defense as a whole was a disappointment, Shazier had a great season and showed that he should be a first-round pick.

Shazier has the talent to be a very good immediate starter at inside linebacker next to another former Buckeye in A.J. Hawk. Shazier also would fill a need early on and allow the Packers to make some moves to get the safety and tight end that the Packers need to add.

Ryan Shazier could be a Packer.

Ryan Shazier (2) gets a defensive signal from the sideline against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium. Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Shazier is a player that Packers fans should enjoy watching as the tape of Shazier shows a player who hustles around the field and always seems to be in position to make a play. Shazier is a tackling machine and had 102 tackles last season for the Buckeyes while also showing an ability to put pressure on the quarterback with 7 sacks. Shazier forced 4 fumbles last season while also showing his coverage ability with 4 passes defensed and 12 pass deflections in 2012.

One thing that Shazier will have to do is shift more permanently to inside linebacker from an outside linebacker role, but he was already playing like an inside linebacker on many plays for the Buckeyes so that shouldn’t be an issue. Shazier is a little undersized when you look at him as an outside linebacker but as an inside linebacker, Shazier’s size is not an issue and he did have a 42-inch vertical at the NFL Combine so he can get up and make plays on the football.

Shazier has been a guy who is rising up draft boards over the last few weeks after slipping out of the first round early on in the process due mainly to his size.

He is a guy who would be a great fit in the Packers’ 3-4 defense and Green Bay has a safety net in Brad Jones to back up A.J. Hawk and Shazier.

Shazier would be a great pick for the Packers in what is one of the strongest NFL Drafts in recent memory.

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  • Peter Maiz

    Ebron and HaHa will be gone but I have hopes the Packers can pick up Calvin Pryor or C. J. Mosley. I think Mosley would offer the greatest impact to the Pack. Shazier is a good consolation price. There is little doubt the Packers are after a tight end, though. But first things first. ILB and safety and then a big tight end, most great TE’s are now 6’5 and 250 lbs. and Green Bay would love to have one.
    As far as a QB selection, that should be made until 2015. Green Bay has defensive player concerns and Thompson’s hands seem to be tied this year as far as what positions he’ll select. But Shazier would be a good selection if Mosley is not available. Hopefully, Chicago doesn’t select Mosley.

  • Phillip

    Great article. I don’t think enough Packers fans have looked into Shazier enough to understand how perfect he’d be for us. He could easily be Lavonte David 2.0 with more speed, his combine measureables are comparable to Luke Kuechly. His production last year was insane, it was actually 144 total tackles with 23.5 TFL. If we can stick him in the middle he’d be an instant impact for us, controlling the line of scrimmage and improving our run game big time, he’s also the ability to cover TE’s n the speed to cover out the slot if need be. If Ebron and Pryor are available, Shazier should still be the pick, i’d even say he has arguments to be picked over Mosley. I don’t believe we should consider any offense over Shazier but Watkins or Evans, Quarless is gonna be serviceable at TE and who knows, he might develop into a solid #1 with the opportunity to work as the #1 TE this offseason with Rodgers, we also have a young raw very well rounded Brandon Bostick that could develop into a really solid #1, best thing about both of em, they can block for our power run game. Hopefully we add Shazier and then make a move for Ward in the 2nd, instantly turn our defense around. Its time to add the extra talent on defense this year, time to learn how to win games without Rodgers carrying us weekly, time to develop a ground n pound and defense philosophy, learn to let Rodgers be that added luxury other teams with great defense don’t have. The way we sit, with Rodgers, Nelson, Cobb, Boykin, Quarless, Bostick, Lacy n Starks we could easily score 30+ a game if need be, we need a D that can easily hold teams to less than 20. This draft early on in the 1st n 2nd rounds needs to be all about adding the best possible talent to Capers defense. We don’t need a 2011 offense to win the SB, we need a 2010 defense to win the SB.

    • Peter Maiz

      If the defense can hold to minus 20, we’d win the super bowl. I like Mosley but you’re right, Shazier is a true talent, too.

      • Phillip

        There’s no doubt, if we can just have a half way solid defense we’ll be a SB caliber team cause Aaron Rodgers can score on anybody. I like Shazier a little more, i like his speed and athletic ability, Shazier’s vertical is like 7 inches higher and his broad is like a foot longer than Mosley, also runs a .20 faster 40 times, .39 faster 3-cone and a .19 faster shuttle. If you look at Kuechly’s combine measurables and look at Shazier’s, they’re extremely close. I’ll be happy with either 1, i myself just prefer Shazier cause i feel the upside is sky high.

    • Peter Maiz

      I’ve looked up Shazier and he is the real deal. Would he be trained sufficiently to start for 2014?

      • Phillip

        If you watch some video on him, highlights or just regular game footage, you’ll see his main area he lines up regularly is where an ILB would line up in a 3-4, he rarely lines up outside the DE, it’s usually right between the tackle and guard, so i doubt he’d have much issue playing ILB in a 3-4.