May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Ryan Shazier (Ohio State) poses for a photo with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number fifteen overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Select LB Ryan Shazier In Round 1: Reaction & Analysis


The Pittsburgh Steelers had essentially a wide open field to them entering the 2014 NFL draft.  Would they take advantage at the depth at cornerback or the depth at wide receiver?  The trade talk became heavy amongst the bloggers the last few days leading up to Thursday evening.  Which way do they go? Up or down?  As long as the Steelers filled a need and got the “most bang for their buck” with the pick, then most of Steeler Nation would be appeased in Round 1.

The Steelers appeared to really screw that up royally by selecting Ryan Shazier out of Ohio State.

Yes that’s right.  The love affair with underachieving Ohio State student athletes continue (see Mike Adams) with the selection of Shazier.  The Steelers passed up the likes of Darqueze Dennard who was a great Plan B after the Chicago Bears pulled Kyle Fuller from under the Steelers with their first round (14th overall) selection.

The knee jerk reaction here is just jaw dropping.  The deep breath reaction that followed was still aggravating.  With so many needs for the Steelers – and inside linebacker was not near the top of the list – there were so many players on the board and even trade down options for the Steelers to exercise.  However, the pick is in, and Shazier is the guy.

Shazier isn’t a bad player.  In fact he’s a Top 5 LB in the draft.  But he’s more of a luxury pick for a really good team.  The Steelers are not a really good team.  They could have been depending on how the draft went, but they are still on the outside of the playoff circle looking in with Shazier.  If they really wanted him, he would have been there in the second round.  Trade down, get an extra second round pick, and take him then.

I guess a question that does come up at this point is what does this mean about Sean Spence, his health, and his realistic chances at returning from a devastating knee injury in his rookie year?  Is Shazier his replacement?  One thing is for sure – Shazier is a developmental kind of player especially in the MACK position.  He will undoubtedly rust on the bench for a season or two while he learns ‘The System’ under Dick LeBeau.  Which would be fine if the Steelers didn’t desperately need big impact players in the first two to three rounds of this draft.

I’m sorely disappointed.  Steelers really need to step it up the rest of the draft.


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  • Scott

    I’m with you Craig-the Steelers really screwed this up! -they could have traded up and gotten Beckham Jr or Fuller by being proactive but they sit there with their thumbs up their a $$ and still blow it by not taking Dennard! They could have traded back and gotten Shazier in the 20′s and gotten additional picks! I have no faith in Colbert or Tomlin!

    • Kimmy

      They had nothing to trade up with. Trading up was never going to be an option no matter who was available.

      • Scott

        They could have used picks, this years or next, to move up. The Bills and Saints did to get the player they wanted. Even then Dennard and Martin are sitting there with needs at corner and o-line and they take a linebacker where Worlds and Jones are.

        • Kimmy

          Yeah they had no picks to use for trading. Colbert already explained that this week. Wasn’t an option. If Dennard was as great as his rating was why hasn’t anyone else drafted him yet?
          And he’s going to be an ILB, so he’d be opposite Timmons, not with Worilds and Jones.

          • Scott

            Other teams actually addressed their needs and corners wasn’t a need so Dennard slid. I so look forward to another year of Ike getting beaten.

          • Kimmy

            Oh I didn’t realize there weren’t any corners left now. I thought this was a draft with a ton of receivers and cornerbacks.

          • http://nicepickcowher.com/author/richardlamarwhitejr/ Richard White Jr

            I don’t hate the ILB pick. There is plenty of depth for CBs and WRs. I just think they took the wrong ILB. Shazier’s speed is intriguing but he is raw. Drafting a player based on speed is a Raiders move and we see where that has gotten them the past decade or so.

          • Rikki Giaro

            You literally posted what I was going to, totally agree with your assessment. He is too small and in the NFL, he will disappear like Jarvis Jones did last year.

          • http://nicepickcowher.com/author/richardlamarwhitejr/ Richard White Jr

            Just want to clarify so that I don’t look like a hypocrite to anybody that I am a big proponent of Jarvis Jones. OLB and ILB are different positions though. Jarvis will grow into his own and be a great player but to draft a Will linebacker that high you would think you would want somebody with higher football intelligence, which was why I wanted Mosley.

          • Rikki Giaro

            I was not happy at all with the Jones pick, first and foremost OLB need to be strong, and Jones is very very far from that. So this is 2 years in a row that Pittsburgh took undersized LB’s. The only upside I can see to Shazier is his speed might be an asset covering TE’s coming across the middle, which could be the the thought behind the pick. Last year I wasn’t crazy about the Bell pick, but I had no idea how good he was at catching the ball out of the backfield.

          • http://nicepickcowher.com/author/richardlamarwhitejr/ Richard White Jr

            Yea, I was not happy with the Bell pick either. I wanted Lacy, but it turned out to be pretty good. I have come to figure out over the years that the Steelers front office are smarter than me about these things, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. The Shazier pick just came out of nowhere to me, just have to wait and see where it goes.

          • scott sinclair

            Bell was a good pick. I love that they picked up Blount, I think he could be a steal.

          • prnitz

            Would you like to compare his size to Larry Foote’s? And take into account he will no doubt bulk up as a pro. He was picked for SPEED. Our D has been too slow. Why do you think Troy has essentially been playing LB lately? Was a good pick. All you arm chair experts will be wearing Shazier jerseys in a year or two. haha

  • Kimmy

    The pick confused me too. No idea that guy was on their radar at all and not entirely sure why they didn’t take the opportunity to trade down considering Dennard is still on the board. That being said I don’t get the talk of saying he’ll surely rot on the bench. Jones sure didn’t rot on the bench his rookie year. I think they’re making a statement in getting younger on defense. That means the young guys are going to see the field.

  • Mike

    Couldn’t disagree more. Sudden and shocking are the ways to describe Shazier’s speed. Completely changes the way the offense handles this front 7. You said it yourself: there is depth at wide receiver and depth at cornerback. We’ll take advantage of that starting tomorrow.

    • Scott

      The linebackers were adequate on defense; the line and corners were the weakness on that side of the ball. Dennard would have better suited Steeler needs instead of Shazier; they could have traded back and gotten extra picks and Shazier. Colbert and Tomlin wouldnt know talent even if you showed it to them.

      • Mike

        As we have all heard and said before, dropping back takes two parties. Clearly hat wasn’t available unless the mid-20′s and he wouldn’t have been there then. You want CBs to look good, get in the back field at 4.47 speed. Btw, LBs clearly were not acceptable last year.

        • bk

          Two parties sure… but the way the Steelers ran the pick up there tells me they were not even entertaining offers… they are morons…
          This guy will not start and will not contribute anything next year…

      • Moneypenny76

        No, they could NOT have traded back and still gotten Shazier. It was widely reported that Dallas was on the phone with Shazier’s agent when Pittsburgh called. They were all set to take him at 16. So if Pittsburgh didn’t draft him at 15, Dallas would have taken him at 16.

        I wanted a CB or WR as well. However, when Chicago took Fuller I was very disappointed. I am HAPPY Pittsburgh didn’t take Dennard. Dennard is NOT a good fit in Pittsburgh. Shazier will be a fantastic player for years to come. ILB was not our most glaring need, but this pick improves our group of LBs from “competent” to “excellent”.

    • OVP66223

      Agree Mike. We need TALENT and disruptive PLAY-MAKERS. That is what is written all over Shazier (and was not written on Dennard or Nix or any other potential defensive pick). Dennard is a press corner and just average in off-man and zone coverage.

  • OVP66223

    I love the pick. Dennard is not a lock-down CB and he fits better in press coverage, which the Steelers NEVER use.

    Shazier is extremely fast and big. That is an impact player, which you don’t always get at pick 15. Think of him as a bigger, faster Troy. Troy is quicker (acceleration and agility), but at nearly 240 lbs, Shazier runs at a 4.40 clip. That is insane (and a lot faster than Mosley or Barr). I can see him being a roving type LB that can stay on the field every down. He could play inside (just big enough) or outside or even a hybrid SS/LB that Troy was forced to play last year. Now Troy can go play his normal game and Shazier can be the disruptor in the backfield and covering TE/RBs on 3rd down (or any down).

  • OVP66223

    From NFL.com (full disclosure and credit):

    Analysis

    Strengths Highly productive, disruptive playmaker vs.
    the run and pass. Shoots gaps and plays behind the line of scrimmage
    (compiled 39.5 TFL the last two seasons). Agile to slip blocks. Quick,
    strong hands to shed. Knifes gaps and flows very well laterally.
    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. Ample athleticism and flexibility to mark backs and tight ends.
    Led all players at the combine with a 42-inch vertical jump and blazed a
    sub-4.4 40 time at his pro day. Four-down utility. Arrow is pointing
    up.

    Weaknesses Lacks ideal size and bulk. Still developing
    eyes and instincts — will diagnose and trigger more quickly down the
    road. Gets caught in traffic or engulfed by larger blockers when he
    hesitates to step downhill. Prone to over-aggressiveness — occasionally
    overruns plays or loses cutback contain. Could stand to improve his
    eyes, awareness, anticipation and reactions as a zone defender. Took
    some time to acclimate before making an impact.

    Bottom Line The Big Ten’s leading tackler, Shazier
    flies around the field and his unique athletic ability stands out.
    Offers a tremendous combination of speed, tackling and coverage skills
    to become a playmaker as a run-and-hit 4-3 Will or perhaps a 3-4
    weakside ‘backer if protected by a block-occupying nose tackle. Value is
    increased by the fact that he will not have to come off the field.

  • Dave Bradley

    8-8 is looking pretty good now.Did the coaches watch the same games I did? CB had to be the highest priorty.

    • OVP66223

      CB is a need, but to get an explosive/fast playmaker with size, like Shazier, at pick 15 is a darn good move. Dennard can only cover one WR and he would not be our CB1 for a few years. He is not (yet) a lock down CB. We could use Dennard, but we could also have used several other players. Shazier is a good pick considering what he can bring to a defense in need of all-over-the-field playmakers. I’d rather have Shazier in round 1 and a CB in round 2/3 than Dennard in round 1 and a 2/3 round LB or NT or whatever.

  • Riverboat Gambler

    I like this pick. The success of Pittsburgh’s secondary has always been dependent on the front 7. None of Pittsburgh’s linebackers can match the raw athleticism Shazier brings to the table.

    It’s a very deep draft for cornerbacks. If your guys up front bring the pressure, it’s not hard to make a 3rd round DB look like a star athlete.

    • Addison

      THANK YOU! Someone who actually pays attention to how Dicks defense works.

  • OVP66223

    Lead all LBs in 40 time, broad jump (huge indicator of explosive lower body speed/strength) and high jump. He is a freakish athlete at that size. Lets hope he can learn the system well enough to play every down. We need that kind of size/speed disruption…badly.

  • Michael Holder

    Absolute wasted pick…100% FAIL by the FO. They reached for a position of need based on college stats (just like Jones & Landry last year) instead of studying game film where they would have seen Shazier completely ABUSED by the likes of Michigan and Clemson. As I watched film on this guy… I realized the Easter Bunny would knock him back at the goal line. The guy has ZERO power and is owned by any decent single blocker. In summation… the FO get a BIG FAT “F-” for this pick.

    • OVP66223

      I disagree, but only time will tell. This guy is a freakish athlete…what is NOT to love about Shazier?

  • Redd Mahoney

    What is this writer talking about? Were Ike,Cortez & Shamarko 1st round picks?…NO! Ike(4th round) has had a credible NFL career (2 rings) as a starter and Cotez(4th round) & Shamarko(4th round) are young players with promise that the Steelers are counting on to be the future of the defense. Does everyone forget about what Seattle’s (#1 defense) front seven did to Denver’s ( #1 Offense) offensive front? They soundly beat them with SPEED!….HELLO! Speed kills and the Steelers are loading up baby! A linebacker that runs a 4.3…are you kidding me? Dick Lebeau is gonna be scheming to place Worilds, Jones, Timmons & Shazier all over the box. As far as playing young players goes…Colbert & Tomlin wouldn’t have selected this kid if they didn’t have big plans for him. Lebeau will get him on the field simply because….jobs are on the line! So relax Steeler nation…the Steelers have a plan.That was only the 1st round pick. It’s still early and they will surely address their DB needs in the later rounds.

    • scott sinclair

      How much do you really think he’s going to see the field this year? LeBeau is nearly allergic to playing rookies and Shazier will be behind Jones and Worilds. Pick sickened me, especially after the Bengals took Dennard. They could have found OLB help later in the draft. Dennard was sitting there, Nix was there, Marquise Lee, Kelvin Benjamin were there. Horrid pick. Colbert will be watching draft on TV next year

      • prnitz

        He will play inside. How much experience in Lebeau’s defense did Williams have before last year? hello. Think before you post

        • scott sinclair

          Inside??? He’s too undersized to play inside. Is he going out to cover Josh Gordon, AJ Green, etc like a more useful CB would? Think before YOU post. Look at LeBeau’s track record with rookies. How much of an impact did Jones make last year? How useful was Ziggy Hood in his career with Pittsburgh? How many years did it take for Heyward to make an impact? If our LB corps is going to be Jones, Williams, Timmons and Worilds this year, what possible impact can Shazier make? They used a 1st round pick on a rotational OLB/ILB? Where is the sense in that when guys who fill a more immediate need were available.

          • OVP66223

            240 lbs is NOT undersized for a 3-4 MLB. I can’t believe anyone is saying this specimen is undersized. Is he 265 lb fatbody that runs a 4.8 – 40? No, thank god.

          • Craig

            I think Scott is a bit right with then undersized remark. I am not sold on this kid until I can see him shed blocks from NFL linemen on a blitz, tackle a big TE without getting pushed an extra three yards, or the same with a big RB.

          • Kyle

            He is as big as Timmons was when they drafted him, except faster and can jump higher.

          • OVP66223

            Better acceleration, more agile than Timmons as well. This kid was a great pick, and only way to not like it is to nit pick on one or two weaknesses (everyone in the draft has weaknesses…Dennard is too slow and can’t play zone well, but everyone wanted him for some reason).

          • OVP66223

            Most Steeler fans sure didn’t mind the plodding Foote not being able to shed blocks. As far as Shazier, it is a bit of a weakness, but not like he never shedded a block all season long. Come on now, don’t act like a 240 lb demon that can bench 25 reps can’t shed a block from a lumbering linemen occasionally. He won’t be great at shedding, but he is already very good at our biggest weaknesses in 2013…coverage ability, speed, agility, versatile…not much to DISLIKE, eh?

          • scott sinclair

            go read my above reply in which I pasted an exact quote from cbs sports. They flatly question whether he can hold up inside.

          • Kyle

            You know that interns write those cbs sports articles, right?

        • Craig

          When did Williams outright win the starting job? Oh that’s right he didn’t – put some context around the series of events. Shazier WILL NOT START his rookie year out right. Thus why folks say he will rot on the bench. Will they put him in sub packages, somewhat likely. But the team needed an impactful player immediately at the No. 15 pick.

          • prnitz

            I guess you guys know more about linebackers and what they plan for this season than Dick Lebeau. Perhaps you should replace him? Cause hes already come out and confirmed that these rookies will likely start this year. I’m not holding my breath for your apologies. Haha

      • prnitz

        I think he will likely start a head of Williams. how much experience did Vince have in this defense before he became the starter last year? And you think he is a better football player in the guy we just drafted number 1? And I think Denard would not have played ahead of Cortez or Ike.when was the last time we picked a cornerback hi in the draft that ended up being a starter long term? Quarterbacks are harder to get her period on. It will pick up a couple of them later in this draft in one will pan out. Watch and learn

        • scott sinclair

          Watch and learn? Think before you post? Who the heck do you think you’re talking to? Ok guru, I will watch and learn. Why don’t you go read up on the evals of the pick? Almost all of them mention Shazier’s lack of bulk to play inside. This is the comments from nfldraftscout/cbs sports.

          Steelers select: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

          This is a speed pick for a team that needs it on defense. I like the player, but can he hold up inside?

          • prnitz

            Hes as big as Larry Foote as a college kid. Was Larry Foote too small to play the position? And do you think the Steelers strength coaces wont bulk him up a little more? Do you suppose Mike Tomlin who just was quoted as saying the kid has no weaknesses doesn’t understand it what size somebody needs to be in that position? Quit repeating what knucklehead say and think for yourself.inside linebackers tackle people you make it through the line. You don’t have to be 300 pounds to do that.

      • Kyle

        You know he’s an ILB, right?

    • Craig

      Show me the film where he can shed a block at the NFL level. Then maybe I’ll be impressed with that speed. Welcome back, btw, Redd. We missed you :)

      • OVP66223

        Speed helps mask that Craig. If you can avoid being blocked in the first place, you need not be a master at shedding a block, right? Had we taken a much slower Mosley, he wouldn’t be able to avoid blocks so shedding them is more important.

      • Redd Mahoney

        Thanks, it ‘s nice to be missed Craig :) Tell Dom I said hello.

        Now, why don’t you show me the film where Foote/Farrior were shedding ANY blocks to stop the run or rush the QB in their latter years. That was the main problem with this defense. So, now your gonna tell me that a kid that runs 10 times faster and produced “SPLASH PLAYS” in college can’t do any better at the NFL level than those 2 plow horses!?……PLEASE! Any DC worth his snot will tell you the best pass defense is a pass rush…NOT coverage.

  • datdudedre’

    I have to say that I am a little disappointed. Shazier was a beast at times for the Buckeyes over the last two seasons, and his speed for a LB is definitely a brow-raiser. I like him a lot from a talent standpoint, but we had too many other needs for this selection. I agree with the assumption that we could have traded down and still got this guy, since no one had him rated near the top 15. Dennard or even Brandin Cooks (although I had been against a receiver with our first pick) would have been better selections. But if you have to take an ILB, why not take the best one in the draft in C.J. Mosley of Bama?! He led the best defense in the best conference in tackles for two straight seasons and sports two championship rings. Shazier is raw, played against weaker competition and has no experience in a 3-4 defense. In the meantime, we still have no starting DE, a horrible crop of corners, question marks at receiver and no true nose tackle. I know it’s only been one pick, but this is a crucial draft for the Steelers. It is deep in talent, and we have several needs. But instead of getting closer to closing the gap on the Bengals and Ravens, we spent a top 15 pick on a 4-3 OLB that we plan on turning into a 3-4 ILB!! Apparently you guys are smoking some high grade stuff, because only something mind-altering would make me consider this a good pick. If the rest of the draft goes like the 1st round did, we’re looking at 8-8 again.

    • OVP66223

      Mosley is a full step slower than Shazier. I think Mosley will be a solid starter, but he doesn’t have the upside of Shazier. Mosley is Larry Foote, only younger and slightly more athletic (in other words, he’ll end up above average, but no pro bowler). Shazier is nearly the same size (lbs) but much quicker/faster and more explosive. What exactly do you like about Mosley, besides some “gurus” rating him a few picks higher? I saw both play, and nothing about Mosley was “explosive” or “disruptive”. The words for Mosley was “consistently solid”.

  • Jesse Murray

    How does this site know there were trade down options? Oh thats right it doesnt, thus this article is complete and utter horse manure.

    • Craig

      There are always trade down options. You think a team is locked in at a pick? Of course you don’t. A team always has the options. It was pretty obvious the Browns were looking to move all night. There were rumors that the Niners wanted to move too. I’m sure there were others. You don’t think that perhaps the war room phone rang maybe once or twice? There were no cameras in there so YOU can’t say with any certainty that they DIDN’T get any trade down offers. Maybe the deals just weren’t ripe enough. Have a seat and keep in calm, friend.

      • Jesse Murray

        No their arent always trade down options just because you say so. Let me guess if no team offers to trade down call the LA Rams? I have no idea what happened in the War Room and neither do you and that Craig is the point. Playing the well I just know they had an option when you clearly dont is just silliness. I am very calm, sane and have an ability to use logic that isnt driven by it must be true because I say so nonsense.

  • Jesse Murray

    Underachieving? Guy led conference in tackles for loss, I get you might not like the pick but damn try and sound just a little bit reasonable and not unhinged BS.

  • Jesse Murray

    If Shazier does or doesnt work out is of course a ways off, what isnt is judgment of this article it is downright pitiful.

    • ralstar

      I couldn’t agree w you more. I love the comment about how Shazier would be available rd 2 when Dallas was ready to take him @16. Not saying Shazier will be good or bad, just pi$$-poor article. This borders on BleacherReport bad…and that’s saying something. BTSC for real coverage

      • OVP66223

        No way Shazier makes it out of top 25 picks (even the gurus had him in the top 20 on most lists). I really think Baltimore would have taken him had he been available, instead of Mosley.

        • ralstar

          EXACTLY!!! Where he gets the “available in the 2nd round” is beyond me. It’s comical. The definition of “hack”
          Shazier may or may not pan out, but nobody here has the information the teams do, so they should just chill and see how the pick pans out.

          • OVP66223

            His on-the-field production and insane measurables have me absolutely loving this pick. Dennard didn’t get me excited as he could bust very easily (runs over a 4.5 40, which isn’t a great recipe for an NFL CB). Shazier is faster than the much smaller Dennard. That should tell you something. heck, Shazier could slim down 20 lbs and play CB if necessary, and probably excel at it.

      • Craig

        The knowledge of Dallas wanting Shazier didn’t come out until well after the article was posted. That said, I stand corrected on that point.

  • prnitz

    Whoever wrote this “analysis” is clueless. Shazier was the highest rated player on their board and the guy they believe can bring the LB play back to the level its always been for the Black & Gold. He and Timmons are going to be dominant in the middle. Enough speed to get after the QB– chase down Johnny Manziel for example–as well as drop into coverage and control tight ends over the middle. Vince Williams started in Dick Lebeau’s defense, and you imagine Shazier cannot?? Spence’s health is a giant question mark. Dennard was overhyped, not a great man coverage guy, and obviously rated lower on their board. And even if they had gone that route, do you really think he was going to start this year ahead of Ike or Cortez?? No chance. Shazier was the most bang for the buck player once the kid from UCLA was gone. He’ll bring the speed and impact on D we badly need and help revitalize the heart of our defense–great LB play–to the level we have not seen for the last couple years, especially last season when we sucked against the run and had to bring Troy in to essentially add a fifth LB. Keep this article and my comment and get back to me in 3–5 years about who is a more impactful player in the NFL and AFC north. Don’t judge a kid because some other kid some other year on the same college team didn’t turn out as expected. That’s retarded. My bet is you’ll be wearing a Shazier jersey by the end of the 2014 season as he, Timmons, Jones and Worilds are shutting down the run and getting to opposing QB’s like the “good old days” when our defense dominated. When that is happening cornerback starts shrinking back to its rightful place in the pecking order of importance.

    • Craig

      I’ll keep my Polamalu jersey til the day I die. Thanks for playing though. I really won’t change my tune on Shazier. Do I hope he succeeds? Absolutely. He may have been very good in college, but there’s just something about his attack on the play and his size that tells me he will get locked up on blitzes and not be able to tackle big TE’s in the open field. Although his speed says he might MIGHT be able to cover better.

      But do I feel that the team could have done better for a 1st rounder? Absolutely and that’s where my point is.

      • Michael Lanich

        The problem for me in the Shazier pick is that unless we can fix our D-Line which has been in a slow and steady decline for the last 3 years, our LB’s can’t do anything.

        Our line needs to eat up blockers and even get pressure on occasion. Look at our sack totals over the last few years. They have fallen right along with our D-Line play. We have a DE at NT and he’s giving up a good 50 lbs.

        What we need in this draft are 3 guys who start by mid season at the latest. Having guys sit on the bench for 2-3 years learning “the system” is fine when you have a complete team, but our drafting over the last 5 years is why we are a mediocre team.

        We have to start finding a way for guys to contribute more than on special teams for a couple of years. We need impact players.

        So unless we fix our line, Shazier isn’t going to be able to do much of anything in the backfield.

        And yes, I think we should have moved up and taken Fuller. We have spent years neglecting our defensive backfield and we leak big splash plays like a sieve. We did the same to our O-Line for a decade before we realized our QB would be retired in a couple of years if we didn’t finally address it.

        CB in 2nd, WR in 3rd, DT in 4th, DE in 5th, CB in 6th, RB in 6th, TE in 7th

        • OVP66223

          I agree about DL being a big need, but LB and CB are too. Basically, we agree that we had 3 or 4 glaring holes in the defense and we just filled possibly the biggest need, a 3-down, coverage able LB that also happens to be as fast as most DBs at 240 lbs. I am stoked.

          That said, we still have other holes and one first round pick can’t fill them all. I just love getting that kind of speed after getting plodders the past few years. now if we can get a steal at DE (or NT) or get a small school DB gem, hopefully a 6’0″ DB with solid speed/agility, then we’ll be golden and I will give this draft an A+.

  • Kareem Daniels

    Dallas was on the phone with his agent when he was picked. So, how were they gonna trade back and get him in the 2nd? 10th in the nation in tackles. 20 Tackles for loss. That’s definitely overrated.

    • OVP66223

      Shazier was a beast. I saw a few OSU games and he was the one single defensive player that stood out. The combine measurements (amazing for a 240 lb man-child) only cement what I saw. I am looking forward to seeing this man play, whether it is ILB, OLB or some kind of Rover/SS player (maybe a 3-3 defense and have him and Polamalu free-lance on each side of the line between the LB and CB?

      • Rikki Giaro

        Last year almost everyone was cheering the Jarvis Jones pick, he turned out to be too undersized for his position, and it looks like Pittsburgh did it again. It looks like Pittsburgh is beginning to build a defense build on speed rather than size, and that should worry all Steelers fans. A small fast D does not work when you rely on field goals to win games.

        • OVP66223

          Jones is NOT too undersized. Not even close. He just wasn’t as fast as we needed and lacks good fundamentals (no moves to get by a tackle if he can’t out run them).

          • Rikki Giaro

            I will compair him to his predecessor , when I said small I was more refering to strength. James harrison 6ft 275 , Jarvis Jones 6ft2 243 It comes down to power having a “move ” is fine but , an LB still has to be strong enough to fight through blocks as well. How many times did we see Harrison getting to the QB with a tackle wrapped around his neck. Don’t misunderstand me , I don’t expect him to be Harrison as there is only 1.

          • OVP66223

            When Harrison played for the Steelers he was never listed anywhere near 275. He might have ate his way to that with the Bengals (or last year with Steelers), but he was always around 245 listing.

            The point is, just being 10 lbs less than another good LB doesn’t mean your undersized. 4-3 DE are mostly in the 280 lb range, so you’d expect MLBs to be about 250-260 and OLB to be 230-250…ideally, but a super fast guy can be a bit less and still be every bit as good. A super slow guy would need to be a little stronger or bigger to make up for his lack of quickness.

            Jones is about what’d you want for a 3-4 OLB, and he is very young so the liklihood he’ll put on another 10 or 20 lbs is high. Harrison was NOT even 240 when he was a rookie. He added lots of muscles to what was a fairly modest physique leaving Kent State.

            I found the most recent Steelers profile showing him at 243 lbs, so not sure how he got mis-profiled at 275 lbs.

          • Rikki Giaro

            Pittsburgh rarely changes the weights on their player profiles, some people still think Steve McLendon is still 280 lbs. You are satisfied with 8 starts and 1 sack, from a first round pick? When time after time line stop a LB at the line of scrimmage, that means you are not strong enough, in other words undersized. That 10 or 20 lbs takes more than one off season, so until that time he will contiue to be a liability to the defense.

        • OVP66223

          Our problem on defense isn’t size or strength (save maybe NT), it is speed. WE ARE TOO SLOW in a pass-happy league full of mighty mights and athletic TEs. Shazier helps counter that weakness (we still need to replace another slow player or two).

  • TheRealXenocide

    Steelers get an F. They fail to get the real need player in Dennard. I live in Michigan, I’ve seen a lot of both Dennard and Shazier. They WILL regret this feces of a failed pick

    • OVP66223

      I can understand your love of Dennard (homer). He should make a fine CB and possibly a pro bowl one day, though he isn’t close to a “shut down” corner as you would hope a first round CB would be. He also is better in press man to man and the Steelers NEVER play in a press alignment, so his main strength would not have been utilized (thus making him merely a solid CB on the Steelers)

      Shazier has “playmaker” written all over him with that size, speed and agility combination. A 240 lb man that runs a sub 4.4 40? That lead all LBs in the broad jump (best measurement of explosive lower body power) and all players at the combine with a 42″ vertical jump? Now, okay, so he was a combine freak (like Gilbert and Clowney), so what? Well, he also was a first team collegiate All-American at LB. He did it ON the field and OFF.

      Could we have used Dennard, even if he wasn’t a match? Sure, but we only had one pick and like Shazier and his ability to be a Troy Polamalu type of playmaker more than Dennard and his not-quit-shutdown corner ability.

    • OVP66223

      Shazier at 240 lbs is faster than Dennard at 190 lbs. No thanks on Dennard. He is a bit too slow for an NFL CB (relatively speaking…he is a blazer compared to me and my 5.2 40)

  • ralstar

    It’s amazing how many people on this site are privy to the individual workouts, one-on-one interviews, and watch the hundreds of hours of game tape like the NFL teams. How are you a hack blogger/troll commenter and not employed by a pro team?
    I’m not saying Shazier is going to be good or bad, but I think (no, I’m sure) that the Steelers have more resources and have invested a lot more of their time on this than anybody here. Give it some time to see how it pans out. I think it’s even a bit early to evaluate the Jones pick from last year (although w/ FA the need for production early is becoming more important) so to say anyone, Mel Kiper/Pete Prisco/some 17 year old HS student who writes for a mediocre Steelers blog, can make a judgement on a pick a few hours after it’s made is ludicrous.

    • Kyle

      You said it, ralstar. Right on. Just a bunch of guys who know just enough to know nothing at all.

  • OVP66223

    For those of you bemoaning the pick, what would you have desired at pick 15? Please keep in mind Clowney and Mack were already taken.

    I realize many mocks had us taking Dennard, a few taking Nix, etc, but none of the players there have any better potential at making an impact on our mediocre defense than Shazier. Dennard and other CBs just are not shut down CB1 types. This is a deep draft, but for CB, it was weak at the top. Gilbert isn’t even a shut down CB and he got taken top 10. He is FAST, sure, but just a good (not great) cover CB and doesn’t like doing run support. Dennard should be good, eventually, but never pro-bowl material. Shazier had the most upside and LB was ALSO a position of need (as was CB, DL, TE and WR).

  • bk

    So much for the Steelers brain trust… ugh…. top 5 cb’s gone… should have take a cb…
    if you wanted LB they could have looked at Attouchao? VAn Noy, etc in rd 2…now the best CB’s are gone… still need wr, nt, etc too…. dipshits….

  • Kevin Koi

    The Dolphins, Ravens, Eagles, and Packers all have said they were targeting Shazier. If the Steelers wanted him bad enough, they really had to take him at 15. You also need a trade partner that makes sense. He is fast enough to cover any TE in this league, and behind Heyward, he can explode into the backfield and hit hard. ILB was the third need in my book. CB was 1, and DE was 2 for me. How deep this draft is with CB and WR, I would love to see DE Tuitt drop and they take him in the 2nd. Then laugh at another article like this saying they “screwed it up”. I still have hopes for Wheaton, and Lance Moore to carry the slack from losing Cotchery, and Sanders. I think WR is more of a luxury pick, then bringing youth and talent to the front 7 on Defense. Do you remember the reason we have 6 rings? It’s our linebackers, and front 7 that brought us the rings. Sack the QB and run the football, Steelers. Jones, Timmons, Shazier, Worilds… sounds pretty good to me.