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Local kid made good Shazier definitely on radar

Bill Parcells once told me he never wanted to tip his draft picks so he would work them out late, often the week of the draft, to get the latest intelligence and also slip under the radar of combine workouts and all the Pro Day and other visits and meetings.

Looks like Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey is applying some of that strategy this week.

On Monday afternoon the Dolphins met with Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier for approximately 90 minutes, an NFL source confirmed Tuesday. The Sun-Sentinel's Steve Gorten was the first to report the meeting, citing Shazier's high school coach.

Teams meeting with Shazier is not huge news. A lot of them -- Atlanta, Green Bay, Buffalo, Denver and Carolina -- have either met with him or worked him out. He is a latter-part-of-the-first round value player, by all accounts.

And a total of 29 teams attended Shazier's Pro Day in part because Ohio State has talented players coming out and in part because he hadn't worked on the field at the Indianapolis Combine because of a hamstring issue.

At the Pro Day Shazier turned in a 42-inch vertical leap but pulled up during his 40-yard dash with another hamstring issue. But that was as he was turning in an eye-popping sub-4.4 time in the sprint -- while pulling up!

Hard to believe for a linebacker and obviously it was an unofficial time. But suffice to say Shazier is very fast by any standard.

He's also a playmaker and a great kid -- which is a truly special combination. He was an Ohio State team captain and led the Buckeyes in tackles two consecutive years -- joining Pepper Johnson, among others who accomplished that feat.

Character? Shazier's father, Vernon J. Shazier, is the Dolphins' team chaplain and the apple does not fall far from the tree.

None of this guarantees the Dolphins will pick Shazier at No. 19 in the first round if they cannot trade up or out of the pick. But Shazier is definitely among the handful of players the team deems worthy of taking in the first round.

Good pick?

This is what Nolan Nawrocki says about Shazier in his NFL Draft 2014 preview (triumphbooks.com):

"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 hand 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."

The problems?

Well, Shazier projects as a weakside linebacker in the 4-3. So Miami takes him in the first round and that automatically projects him to start, or at least it had better because that's what first-round picks are supposed to do regardless of what team personnel will predictably say to cover their, ahem, selves.

So the starting LB corps is Koa Misi at MIKE, Dannell Ellerbe at SAM and Ryan Shazier at WILL? 

Perhaps the Dolphins brush aside the Misi in the middle offseason experiment, as they have previous offseasons, and leave Ellerbe in the middle then play with Shazier at WILL and Misi at SAM.

Either way the odd man out is obviously Phillip Wheeler, who had a terrible 2013.

Fine. But ...

Would this solve Miami's run defense issues? Remember the run defense? Increasingly terrible the past two years? The No. 24 run defense in the NFL? Hard to believe that unit was No. 3 against the run in 2011.

Anyway, Shazier has a history for making plays so perhaps the thinking is he upgrades the run defense. He is, however, an three-down linebacker.

One thing one scout pointed out to me a while back about Shazier: "He had to learn to play before he started to make an impact and in the NFL he's going to have to learn to play at that level before he makes an impact. The light might not come on the first day or even the first season. He'll get it eventually, though."

Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell has heard critics say Shazier is built like a wide receiver from the waist down and won't be durable as a result. He also has heard scouts wonder about Shazier's ability to shine early in his NFL career.

"He's just scratching the surface on his abilities," Fickell told the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel. "That's the thing with Ryan. He could play in any type of system. He could move around. He's not some little, frail speed guy. He can hit you. He can do all the different stuff. He'll be a 240-guy no problem."

Shazier is already in New York as one of the prospects invited to attend the draft by the NFL. It's possible his name is called when the Dolphins pick. 


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That is why I am asking. Personally I would not take Manziel in the first. He's at least 1 year away from playing and possibly 2. I love his passion for the game but he's got a ways to go to be pro ready.

With that said, a lot of media is talking Manziel in the top ten and not falling out of the top ten. I hope that happens as it means more picks fall to 19. It might also cause other teams to go ahead and jump on their QB for being afraid to lose out on them. NFL Network did their in house mock last night and they have Manziel going to the Rams at 2.

Rick, 8:59AM, Amen.

Not sure what's going to happen Texas but the more QBs get taken ahead of Miami the better. We'll have a better chance at landing a Martin, Donald, etc etc...

Last nights NFL Network mock draft was awful BTW. They had Miami taking Kouandjio at 19. They didn't allow trades.

BUT at 19, the other available players were: Anthony Barr, Odel Beckham Jr., CJ Mosley, Cooks, and Shazier. Which I have all those guys rated higher then the OT.

At the very least those that were available would have generated some trade down offers so if OL was the only position pick, Miami could have easily moved down.

Texas, they have the same guy I have...Kouandjio...Don't like the pick but that's the guy I think Miami will take...

Posted by: Texas_Dolfan | May 07, 2014 at 09:13 AM

I agree. I'm not sure Koundjio is even a good fit for a zone blocking system. Personally I think a better move than getting a RT is getting a LG so we can start running up the middle. Sua-Filo is just a better value in the 1st rd than reaching for a RT when there are comparable guys to be had in the 2nd and 3rd rds. Another guy that interest me is Joel Bitonio because he could likely man both positions.

And basically Mack and Clowney will be gone by pick 5 Jordan only 23 still has 3 years plus option too so pretty much would be a draft pick and after those two are gone for teams who want a pass rusher considering Jordan only 23 if he was in Draft after those 2 are gone to avoid argument because i think jordan should be infront of Mack if he were in draft ...... But Miami HAS a really good Core if they could get a 1st rd and a 3-5 rd with that for instance say Arizona if they dont get QB they want at 20 Green bay at 21 philly most obv with chip kelly at 22 Chargers def need a pass rusher at 23 or even saints at 25 all Teams who need a young Elite pass rusher mind you he's got NFL exp now but still has 3 cheap years plus the other year option only 23 .... there is no pass rusher Anthony barr Shaziar who is a great 4-3 LB not really a pass rusher ETC ..... i think def would give up that last 1st rd and maybe the 3-5th too...... gives Miami 19 in front of Arizona and say if Arizona Philly or Green bay trade they have 19 and 20-22 they control the end of the draft for a team like Carolina or San Fran who may want to move up to get WR or Cleveland at 26 if Bortles Falls you might be able to get the 26 and 36 for 19 which i think would be great for Cleveland if they got Watkins then Bortles ....... Then w that 2nd 1st rd they could trade with Carolina for pick 20-22 so they can get a cooks or lee and mvoe the 20-22 pick for the 28,60 picks now miami has picks 26 28 36 50 60 4 in top 50 and 5 in top 60 plus the extra 4th or 5th from the jordan trade .... now they can trade the 28th to a Jacksonville for pick 35 and 67 and another 5th so they can jump houston or a Tampa or Minnesota or Raiders could do it and all of a sudden miami has most picks in draft pick best player at 26 CJ Mosley if he is there or any best player because you know now with 3 2nds including a ealy one and 2 3rds and 2 4ths your upgrading T G MLB CB and take a shot on Bartavias Bryant who i think at 6'4 212 4.4 with 40" verticle great Redzone threat ........ this draft may lack elite talent but has alot of good starters thru 4th rd Miami could solidfy so much by trading just jordan and trading back ....... Especially if QB's all Falls and maybe Beckham or cooks fall....... Miami Trade Jordan ..... Miami trading Jordan Gibson and Thomas to Eagles for pick 22 4th rd and mathis would be great trade for both teams ... Eagles get a good solid WR capable of catching 50+ balls and 850 yards and the Defense gets huge shot in Arm and they clear more cap space....

I hope Hickey understands we have enough OLB's and that includes Dion Jordan. What we need is a good MLB.

Woodshed, I am on board with Sua-Filo but in that draft the Jets took him.


If he is the pick then I hope at least we get him after a trade down.

I actually have the FIns taking Carlos Hyde with there first pick and selecting Morgan Moses or Joel Boetino with there 2nd pick.

Think about it we dont have a back on the team who can get the tough yards. The team was ranked 26th in rushing last year and thats preceisley why we didnt make the playoffs. Too much on THill shoulders.

We need a RB to get tough yards, we all know Lamar cant break a tackle and D Thomas besides the Steelers game stinks!

Carlos Hyde will be the 1st pick! Mark my words

Woodshed, Kouandjio is very light on his feet...He reported at 16% body fat, which is pretty impressive for any offensive lineman. The reason I don't like the pick is because of health concerns. Do we want another injured first round pick? Dion Jordan again? I don't.

Fits the bill to a tee. This guy or Verrett unless some miracle Mack Lewan or Donald vecome available...

Much better than some plodding rt that can be had in any number of ways without spending a first pick.

Shazier fits what a first pick should be and that is special.

I think Jordan Ends up being a pro bowl 10+ sack guy a year but we got 2 good ones ... one is only 23 and ones a ALL pro and the need is just not big like so many other areas ..... Trading him could give us such a hold of the back of the 1st rd ... not only do we add a extra 1st and 4th but if things fall right we could end up with Jordan and our own pick spreading into a additonal 5-6 picks keep trading back like from 19 to 26 for 26 and 36 now we got a top 4 2nd rd then take the 20-22 pick prob 22 and trade it to Carolina for pick 28 and and there 2nd and 6th rd looking at point chart which if i was carolina i do to get Lee over the Indiana guy.... then trade the 28 to a JAX OAK Min preferably miinnesota because there all the way back to 40 so we can get there two 3rd rds ........ Now we got 3 2nds 3 3rds and a late pick for a steph morris all for Jordan .... Then with pick 26 Take best player Mosley would just be a bow on top if he was still there if not with all our extra picks we can grab christian jones ...... So i would grab best G or maybe think about a FULLER or ROBY at CB considering you could easily get a G and T with 6 picks in 2nd and 3rd

Heat game during NFL Draft = paradise.

IN case people stopped paying attention, our OLB play was just as bad as our MLB play so why is Shazier less of a need than Lloyd Moseby?

Shazier is definitely more talented than Shaker Moseby and that should trump all.

Anyway, time to go to work. Have a good one guys!

We seen Pats do this for years if hickey does somthing even close we Got our QB alot of WR's a pro bowl LT C DE CB and 2 good RB a good young TE who i think might be a pro bowler (clay) we have a very young strong core a B+ - A draft puts us over the top for playoff spot and on the way to compete for East and if we come up short this year still wild card and take it by the neck by 2016 but Buffalo is on a big rise too

If the Dolphins take Cyrus, I will be on continuos blast against this regime until it's replaced. I will make Home-O and 2 watt look like a walk in the park...


We need to trade into the top 5 and get that 1 player.

Just because Shazier measurables are better than Mosley doesnt make him the superior talent. Mosley leadership and heart is great intagibles. He called out the D and made sure everyone was lined up properly.

Anyways do you guys understand how deplorable the RB play was last season dont dare blame it all on the OL, Lamar cant break tackles and D Thomas stays concussed.

We need OL and RB in the draft evn before the D!

Hyde or Mason in the first and OL in the 2nd


Cyrus in the 1st and Jermey Hill in the Second

Montreal, how is Cyrus light on his feet? he has the worst 40 time among the top 20 Ots, 10th cone, 15th shuttle. he also isn;t that strong as he had the 17th bench 11th vertical and 16th broad.

These are horrible measureables... just awful... if he went to Kansas State instead of Alabama, he'd be an UDFA.


Kelvin Benjamin. Teams would have to double him every play AND they'd have to double Wallace also. IMO drafting Kelvin helps QB, WR, OL, RB.

So long as Jeff Ireland is NOT making the pick @ 19, we should get an immediate starter.
Guy almost single-handedly set our team back 5 years with is 'acorn' strategy.

So Regualr what makes him the superior player?

It's not measureables... it's not production?

heart, desire? Balls, you are acting like Shazier is Seantrel henderson?

Guy had 140 tackles.. what says heart and desire more than chasing guys around the field all day making all the tackles?

And at what point in either of your mocks are you going to select a guy who has first round rated talent?


However if Hickey figures this team will get blown up then trading back is a pretty good indication of that.

Posted by: #1 Dolphin Fan in Montreal | May 07, 2014 at 09:28 AM

Quick feet isn't my issue with Koundjio, it's his knee bend. He plays high to move well. He just doesn't look like a guy that can stay low when he moves, leaving himself unbalanced. He appears to be a better man scheme fit IMO.

When is the NFL going to mandate a study into the Buffalo Bills locker room as Marcel Dareus was arrested on drug charges...

Do you fellas realize THill DID NOT have a running game last season. He did ok without one imagine if he had a decent one lets say 15th instead of 26th, we would of been to the playoffs and beat the Bengals.

We need OL and a RB, I'll say get a big physical WR in the 3rd.

Priorities needs are
Run stuffing DT

Mark mention Bishop Shankey hes just too small hes a little guy who can "skhake" defenders we need a big bruiser like Eddie Lacy which is why I love Jermey Hill or Carlos Hyde.

Mark, very simple. His knee.

Good to hear this. Shazier has been my number 1 guy that I think will be at 19 for a while now. Here's a few reasons I would love the pick.

1. He's a playmaker who made big plays his whole college career. Last 2 years 259 tackles, 40.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, a pick six.

2. Linebacker I would probably consider our second biggest need right now besides O-line. This would go a long way to help filling it. He can cover, blitz, stop the run, and will be able to play all 3 downs.

3. He has special teams value. He had multiple blocked punts in his career including a big one in the Big 10 title game against Michigan State.

4. This is just a bonus, but he seems to be a decent character guy from all that I've read. After last year, this can't hurt.

My opinion means nothing, but I would love this pick.

For goodness sake how many times did we see it was 3rd down and 2 and less and we get stuffed at the line of scrimmage or the RB totally missed the hole?

26th in the league at Run
26th in the league at stopping the Run

Screams OL, RB, LB, DT

Later guys...Gotta run...

Dam I forget we signed Knowshown well take RB off the board! Can Knowshown get the tough yards we need?

Priorties now
2 OL
2 LB
2 LB

Mark I was going by needs and not necessarily BPA.

Posted by: A Regular Here | May 07, 2014 at 09:48 AM

Gotta have people make holes for you to run through first. I personally think Moreno/Miller is a good enough combo with the right players on the Oline.

We definitely need to cut down on those 3rd and 8+ scenarios for Tannehill. Its just asking for your QB to get sacked or turn the ball over when you find yourself there as much as we were last season.

I guess Fins will not be selecting a RB this year but guys like Carlos Hyde and Jermey Hill really need to be looked at if they so happen to fall.

I agree with Woodshed, as much as I hate OL talk, we need to prob a couple this draft.

Prob a T early and a G in the 4th

Montreal, if that's the case then he shouldn't be the pick any round.

It's no secret that the Fins brass have interviewed both Terrance West & Tre Mason for the top RB pick...Carlos Hyde is NOT in the mix so you can put that pipe dream to sleep.

Whats the knock on Hyde he was tough as nails running through defenders at OU

Sankey is 5.09 210. Not a bruiser but big enough to be a 3 down back and there isn;t a better one in this draft as far as runner + receiver + blocker

Hyde's measureables are pretty blah. His lateral quickness and explosiveness tests were pretty crap. Not fast either. It may translate different on game day but those test results indicate that his game may not translate at the next level.

Mark thats still too small to get the tough yards in the NFL. Hes more like a Darren Sproles type of guy.

We need a 5'11-6 225-235 guy not named D Thomas who stinks.

Nothing better than watching Rickey in his heyday

Kelvin Benjamin. Teams would have to double him every play AND they'd have to double Wallace also. IMO drafting Kelvin helps QB, WR, OL, RB.
Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | May 07, 2014 at 09:42 AM


Benjamin could be there when we pick in the 2nd.

Depending on how the top 15-18 picks shake out, it looks as though Shazier is the top choice @ 19. Then they can get Wheeler TF out of the mix.

Posted by: A Regular Here | May 07, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I would flip it. Get the stud LG first and choose the RT somewhere between rds 2-4. Put the rookie in between Pouncey and Albert, have a RT competition between Fox, Garner, Thomas and whoever is drafted.

Sankey is not the size size as Sproles, he's actually the same exact size as Shane Vereen of new England or Mike Gillislee or Tre Mason.

What part of 'hamstring problems' do some of you guys out there not understand?. Stop picking players with health question marks,didn't last years first round pick tell you anything?

Not a big fan of Kelvin Benjamin. He has the size of Megatron but doesn't play like a big receiver. He doesn't create separation on short/intermediate routes or catch the ball well away from his body IMO. If he fell to the 3rd rd I would take him but we just have too many needs to address and I don't think he would contribute immediately for us.

Benjamin will be gone before we pick @ 50.

IF we pick a true 'player' at #19 (ILB or WR) my fear is when we finally get to pick #50, all the 2nd tier OT will be gone.

Then were stuck with a 2nd rate talent trying to stop the elite DE's in the league (think Mario Williams and what he did to us twice last season).

We need a 'player' at RT so we can line up and play ball.

Mark, the point is hes too little, can he get 2 yards when its 4th and 2 or 3rd and 2 can he break tackles or is he always looking to "shake" someone?

Woodshed its always easier to find a Guard later rounds than a Tackle. We need to go Tackle early than a Guard later.

But Mark I guess you have a man crush on Bishop prob like I have on LSU Jermey Hill. Hill will not go down on initial contact and played in a pro set offense in the SEC, whereas Bishop played at Washington playing powder puff Pac 10 teams

I spent time yesterday watching Kuondjo video, I was actually quite impressed with how good a run blocker he is. Sure its not BPA drafting and is Positional drafting but i believe he's better than Juwon James and will be a very capable pick, starting day 1 in the NFL.


I think the question is with Shazier in the mix is have we solved our linebacker mix and helped shore up our running game woes?


Posted by: NHFinsFan | May 07, 2014 at 10:15 AM


First off I wasn't advocating Benjamin at 50, just pointing out it would be ridiculous to take him at 19.

Personally I hope Zach Martin is sitting there at 19. Short of that even though I really like Su'a Filo I'm leaning toward Bitonio there.

He could actually play guard if Moses or James are still there when we pick at 50. If not we still have our tackle, then we look for a guard later and maybe go MLB in the second.


I have hope that we can take a player in the first and still grab a good O-lineman in round 2.

Tier 2 O-line I see as Bitonio, Juwuan James, Cyrus, Morgan Moses, Antonio Richardson, and maybe Mewhort. I also like Billy Turner and LDR, but they are more developmental guys with high ceilings.

I really think a good RT will be there at 50. If it looks like there is a run on them, trade a 4th or 5th rounder to move up in the second. I don't want to lose a pick in a deep draft, but I want a playmaker in round 1 more.

Possibly available at 19.

Benjamin - Can be had w/trade down
Beckham (my fav. of these)


James - Can be had w/trade down
Kouandjio - Can be had w/trade down
Moses - Can be had w/trade down
Bitonio - Can be had w/trade down
Sua-Filo - Can be had w/trade down (my fav. of these)

Hageman - Can be had w/trade down
Jernigan - Can be had w/trade down
Nix - Can be had w/trade down

Amaro - Can be had w/trade down
Jenkins - Can be had w/trade down

For me, assuming guys like Ebron, Martin and Lewan are gone, I have the UCLA guard, and either Shazier or Pryor, in that order. It addresses the need, allows us to move on from Wheeler and perhaps Jones next year and gives us a player who will have most impact next year.

The alternative is to move down, pick up an extra pick and try and draft one of these guys or a guy like James or Moses.

The guy I'll be most pissed if we pick is the tackle from Alabama. Not a fan of this guy at all. That would be a totally wasted pick, IMO.

I didn't list CB's and the team trading down could be trading down for Shazier, the WR's left or the CB's left and last but not least a QB. But there will be offers.

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