Steelers take Ryan Shazier at No. 15


The Steelers are still trying to rebuild a defense that was memorably described by Warren Sapp as “old, slow and it’s over.” They’ve just added a linebacker who is anything but old and slow.

Ryan Shazier, a 21-year-old Ohio State linebacker with blazing speed, is the first-round pick of the Steelers. Pittsburgh selected Shazier at No. 15 and didn’t take much time off the clock before turning in their pick, which suggests that they love Shazier and were thrilled to see he was still available.

Shazier, who ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, was an All-American as a junior at Ohio State last year, and he showed great athleticism and versatility on the field.

The biggest question is whether Shazier is an inside linebacker or an outside linebacker. Either way, Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will make good use of him.

65 responses to “Steelers take Ryan Shazier at No. 15

  1. Not in love with this. AT. ALL.

    With Dennard there and an ACUTE need in the secondary they get…another LB???

    I will not enjoy them getting torched through the air for another year. But I’m sure many other fans will!

  2. “The biggest question is whether Shazier is an inside linebacker or an outside linebacker.”

    No. No its not. 6’1″ 237 is perfect size at ILB in the 3-4. WAY undersized at 3-4 outside.

  3. This pick is B-E-A-S-T-L-Y-!-!-!-!-!

    Absolutely loving this pick – Welcome to Steeltown, Ryan!!!

  4. Brady Quinn was humiliated a couple of years ago, but he appeared to be a humble person , johnny football? Like mcdonalds says, I’m loving this. Go sign some autographs now u dink

  5. Good pick… cb denard would have been better, but this kid plays with heart.

  6. The Steelers obviously loved Shazier more than they cared for Mosley from the Tide.

    Look for Johnny Football to be picked by the Browns who will move up.

  7. Hope he likes playing on a losing team. They have not had a winning season since being tebowed in their last playoff appearance several years ago! Haha

  8. We could have Rod Woodson and Deon Sanders back there, but if you have no passrush, even they would get torched. How do you think that they won with Ike Taylor all of these years. They had Joey porter. James Farrior, James Harrison, etc. This guy had inside linebacker written all over him.

  9. Dennard has had a lot of injuries and almost no zone experience. I’m good with the super-fast linebacker.

  10. Guy looks hairless. How fast u got to b as a ILB. Kind of light as he takes on OLs. Steelers know their LBs thru the years.

  11. Hes definitely intended to be an ILB.

    Im sure the hope is that he takes over Troys role next year as the speedy play disruptor.

  12. They will still be the 4th best team in the AFC North this season. You give them all top 5 picks they still will fail to make the playoffs, as long as they still believe Ben and Polomalu will take them to a title again.

  13. Here’s one Bengals fan who isn’t looking forward to playing against him (or Mosely).

  14. all you blow hards… deal with it. this is how you draft and stay relevant…ahem.. cincy. mistake by the lake and turds…

    AFC North champs.

  15. Would have preferred Dennard, but Timmons and Shazier in the middle next year sounds excellent.

  16. Probably won’t start this year, but if he can get his feet wet in special packages covering TEs and special teams he should be able to develop into something by next year.

    Seems smart too, so learning Lebeau’s D may come quicker than most.

    I was hoping for secondary for this pick, but am warming to this guy the more I read about him.

  17. I agree with Ike Taylor, who within seconds of the pick tweeted: “Huh?”
    Tomlin and Colbert needed to draft an impact player. Instead, they drafted an undersized linebacker who probably won’t get into the starting lineup until sometime next season.
    This pick is beyond disappointing. Dennard would’ve made more sense.

  18. HIGHLY DISAPPOINTING. Shazier is a gamer but come on…a 235 lb. ILB is not what this team is dying for. The Fuller pick at 14 should have triggered an auto pick of Dennard. Once Gilbert went really early all bets were off.

    Wondering if the brain trust needs a re-tooling. We don’t get the big WR or CB we so desperately need in the first round.

    Hopefully Robinson from PSU is there when we pick tomorrow or its going to be groundhog day all over again.

  19. Sorry Steelers Fans, this guy is a Reach and has had some serious injuries…. For you “casual” football fans he is a decent 4-3 OLB. He is not an ILB! Steelers guaranteed 3rd place AFC North finish.

  20. We’ll see!!!!!…I for one would have preferred dennard…………I trust the steelers……Shazier better be a stud or Tomlin will be standing in the unemployment line soon…………No more chances………..Look forward to day 2 and 3.

  21. Well, I didn’t see this coming, but in hindsight it does make sense. Shazier is a three down linebacker. He can run to the ball against runs and rush the passer, but there isn’t a tight end or running back in the game he can’t cover. That counts for a hell of a lot these days. He’s got purely blazing speed for a linebacker and there are comparatively few players in the league, even at wide receiver, that he can’t stay with. High motor, quality locker room guy, all the intangibles are there too. Until they play the games the jury is out on every rookie, but this is probably a pretty good pick.

  22. Best part about this pick is the report from Shazier’s agent that he was on the phone with the Cowboys when the Steelers called to say they were taking him. The Cowboys picked right after the Steelers. Love to see Jerry Jones fail.

  23. I was not surprised that we didn’t take a CB… I think we would have grabbed Gilbert if he was available but come on guys, when was the last time we took a CB in the first?

    Mildly surprised by Shazier, figured we would have grabbed Mosley if we went ILB in the first…

    Also a bit disappointed we signed Mike Mitchell, if we hadn’t I like to think we may have taken Dix or Pryor.

    Tomorrow should be exciting though as there are still a lot of really good players we can get.

  24. I think what this pick says is that the Steelers don’t think their cornerback situation is as bad as everyone else seems to think it is. They currently have five players listed as safeties: Troy Polamalu, Mike Mitchell as starters, Will Allen, Shamarko Thomas and special teams stud Robert Golden behind them. Well, the Steelers used a dime package that has three safeties about 50% off the time last year and the first three guys can run it just fine. Thomas was the slot corner to start the year, and Golden, who played both safety and corner in college, hasn’t looked so great at safety in the pros. However, Golden is a near lock for the team for his stellar special teams play. I think we’ll see both those guys play some in the slot next year. They’ll still take a corner some or later anyways, and probably another next year.

  25. I don’t understand why Colbert and co. always rush to get their card instead of ever even entertaining offers to trade down. They could have recouped the 3rd rounder they lost last year.

  26. Timmons is listed at 6’1″ 237 pounds, is now north of 250

    Shazier is listed at 6’1″ 237 and much faster

    Great pick.

  27. Not the pick I would have made, but he seems like he’ll be pretty good. I’m not too worried about not taking a CB. This was only the first round. Splitting up the draft like this just makes people freak out because they have too much time to think about the first pick and forget there are more coming…

  28. Woirlds,Shazier,Jones & Timmons as our LB crew. I’ll take it. Would be really sweet if the Steelers could get Nix to play nose in the 2nd round or a Corner. If The Steelers can increase the QB pressure the defensive backfield will benefit.

  29. Thanks for Dennard…….losers!
    Joke if a franchise last 5 yrs.

    That’s funny coming from twenty years of mediocrity, but the one and domes provide comic relief… Thanks

  30. If you’re a true Steelers fan, then you love this pick. I wish the best of luck to Flacco, Dalton and Manziel. Shazier and Timmons are now the fastest ILB duo in the NFL. Have fun.

  31. “Thanks for Dennard…….losers!
    Joke if a franchise last 5 yrs.”

    Ya know, if you can’t even get “if” and “of” right, your insult loses it’s sting.

    p.s. You and the one and done crew, are welcome.

  32. Once Donald and Fuller were picked, I was hoping for Shazier. I’m not too high on Dennard like most seem to be. There are a ton of quality CB’s and WR’s left in the draft. However, there was only one high motor LB who stood out.
    In the new dink and dunk NFL, you need speedy and athletic LB’s roaming the short backfield, covering RB’s and TE’s, and pressuring the QB.

  33. Good pick.

    But when they showed the clip of him running the 40 at his pro day, and pulled up at the end grabbing his hamstring, how many fans held their breath?

  34. I agree. Fuller would have went if he was available.

    Kind of like the Jones/Timmons/Shazier/Worlids core. Hopefully, they can stay together and become a force.

    So, Timmons the Mike and Shazier the Buck??

  35. Hehehe… What a wasted pick! Guys with bad hammies will ALWAYS have bad hammies. Steelers have officially just become the worst team in the AFCN. Congrats to the Browns for becoming the new #3!

  36. Hmmm, let’s see. The Ravens finished with the same record as Pitt last season. And as far as the Bungles and Brownies, they have 1 playoff win between them since 1990.

  37. There are two strikes against Shazier: 1.) He played at Ohio State; and 2.) He’s a second-rounder taken in the first round.
    Aside from Santonio Holmes brief but productive career in Pittsburgh, I’ve never been sold on spending high draft picks on OSU players. Secondly, I might be feeling better about Shazier had he been projected as an actual first-round pick.
    Shazier is a “reach.” Given the fact that all of the Steelers’ draft picks from 2008 and ’09 are gone, I don’t know if the Tomlin/Colbert tandem was in a position to be spending first-round picks on “reaches.”

  38. Shazier has been moving up draft boards and many had him projected in the first round. In fact, the Cowboys were on the phone with his agent and were going to pick him if he made it past us. True 2008 wasn’t a great class, but 2009 was pretty good. They got Wallace, Lewis, Urbik and Hood. All are still in the NFL, just with different teams. Wallace was way overpaid (we kept the right WR) and Lewis wanted to go home.

  39. I don’t understand why Colbert and co. always rush to get their card instead of ever even entertaining offers to trade down. They could have recouped the 3rd rounder they lost last year.

    Steelers knew they were drafting this guy way before they were on the clock.

  40. I don’t understand why Colbert and co. always rush to get their card instead of ever even entertaining offers to trade down. They could have recouped the 3rd rounder they lost last year.

    They have a compensatory 3rd Round pick this year near the end.

  41. A 3-4 OLB usually does not produce much in his rookie season. With Worilds and Jones as the projected starters, he would only be used in sub packages on 3rd down as on OLB if that. With the uncertainty as to Spence, Williams & Wilson, Shazier is most likely going to be moved inside. That would maybe allow Polamalu to play more back into his true Safety position.

  42. Coming out of high school in 2011, Shazier was a 4-star recruit and the #14-ranked OLB in the nation. Dennard was a 2-star recruit with no national, positional, or state rankings. The Steelers have always gone for the best available talent regardless of position. This wasn’t a “reach” pick at all.

  43. Sorry Steelers Fans, this guy is a Reach and has had some serious injuries…. For you “casual” football fans he is a decent 4-3 OLB. He is not an ILB! Steelers guaranteed 3rd place AFC North finish.

    So, the Steelers are a guaranteed 3rd place finish solely on the motion of drafting Shazier? Sounds very logical.

  44. The great thing about the LeBeau defense is linebackers make corners look good. It starts in the trenches. If the linebackers are forcing quick thows then the secondary benefits. We’ve missed a good pass rush the last couple of years.

    Think of it like this. So if they draft Denard then what? Who would be on the other side? Taylor? You draft Shazier and you put the quarterbacks head on a swivel. Hell even William Gay looks good at that point.

    Not to mention with his speed he can zone cover Brady and Flacco’s favorite place to throw… 5-10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage right in the middle.

  45. Shazier was a Captain at Ohio St. The Steelers reeeeeeeally need leaders.

    Farrior, Clark and others are long gone. This team is in bad need of leadership on the field. Who better than an ILB??

  46. Those who believe that Shazier wasn’t a “reach,” I’ll ask you this: How many of the hundreds of mock drafts had him listed anywhere, to any team, in the first round? Name one.
    Secondly, I find no solace in the fact that the Cowboys were about to draft him if the Steelers hadn’t. The Cowboys organization has been in disarray for more than 20 years now.
    Perhaps Tomlin and Colbert hit the jackpot. Perhaps they got it right. We shall see.

  47. Shows you what a mock draft is worth, I suppose. I’ll never be duped into listening to the “experts” anymore.

  48. Perhaps Tomlin and Colbert hit the jackpot. Perhaps they got it right. We shall see.

    The doubt in your statement shows you are just bashing the usual Steelers and wouldn’t give them praise if they drafted the second coming of LT or Butkus. Something’s never change…

  49. Take it from a diehard Ohio State fan; this dude is a MONSTER. He was forced into action as a freshman and I turned to my friend and said “This dude will be a first round pick in a few years.” Don’t let his lack of size fool you, he hits hard. And the speed is real. Way too real for me as a Browns fan.

    Any Steelers fan who isn’t ecstatic to have this guy is insane. I’m absolutely furious that he was drafted by the Steelers but at least I get to watch him play a lot now. Albeit while he’s smashing my running backs and receivers…

  50. Yeah, I don’t think he’s a reach. If they wanted him, this is where they had to take him. I did a quick Google search for mock drafts and found him in the first round every time, most often to the Packers. He’s a monster athlete and only 21, which does get him bonus points y’know. His upside just as an athlete is intense; he won’t even get to his athletic prime until the end of his first contact. The more I look at this pick, the better I like it.

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