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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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He's in a coin flip with Mosley. I actually have seen Shazier play way more so if I was forced to pick one I'd take Shazier. I do like both of them, however they have different skill sets IMO.

Shazier - He's a splash and flash kind of player. He makes plays in the backfield, great disruptive blitzer, can take a turnover to the house with his blazing speed and make up for missteps with that same speed. I think he is a weakside LB but I do think if he hits the 240 plus range he can eventually play MLB. Just my opinion. Love his skill set and overall game. I see him upgrading the LB talent as a whole because he's more physically talented then anyone Miami currently has on the roster. His athelticism and speed can change the way Miami attacks teams which is a good thing. He can cover a lot of ground.

Mosley - He's steady. Which is a compliment not a negative. He will be a good MLB, plug and play day 1. He would upgrade the entire unit but I think like most Bama prospects he's pretty much maxed out. What you see is what you get. He doesn't deliver that game changing turnover. He's a 3 down LB but doesn't have game changing speed or ability to take a defense to another level.

Shazier is the riskier prospect but the ceiling to me is to great to pass on.

Rick, if you are looking at adding a LB with the exact same skill set as Bobby Wagner and an o lineman with the exact smae skill set as Jordan Mills, whihc do you pick. Mills was a fine player last year for the bears but he was also a 5th round talent.


I think Shazier will be there but I am doubting that Mosley will be there.

Hickey didn't even work out Benjamin. He likes the other receiver from Clemson better.

I'm hoping someone takes Lloyd Moseby and LMFAO before we get to pick.

LMFAO is Mark Barron reincarnated. Steady player for TB but anyone see anything special in the kid?

Well they're not going to make us all happy and of course there not trying to.

I just hope they draft some good football players and actually Martin, Shazier, Su'a Filo, Bitonio, James and Pryor all fit that bill along with a couple of WR's that may be there.

The question of course is need or bpa. I'm sure they have a plan and have developed their board based on it.

It will be interesting tomorrow night. Right now you can go to CBSsports.com's mock draft and all 5 of their analyst have us taking a different guy. Mosley, Moses, Martin, Kouandjio, and Ebron. It's anybody's guess at this point.

Saw a mock this morning where we traded down to 31 and pick James from Tennessee. Not sure what the pick was coming back. Probably a third. Under the circumstances I'd be OK with that. I like that a whole lot better than reaching for a tackle at 19. The extra pick could be used for a WR in the third.


At 31 it would have to be a 2nd rounder or I wouldn't have made the deal. And actually the 31's and 63rd pick is 876 points and the 19th is 875. I know the trade chart is a guide but a 3rd to move that far would not be enough. In my humble opinion.

Yeah, I would hope if that trade happened we could grab Denver's very late 2nd rounder. Still not a bad idea if the team is set on O-line.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | May 07, 2014 at 10:38 AM


I would just like to be able to run the ball on offense and protect the QB. On defense I would like to not see Tampa Bay's 3rd string RB dragging our linebackers down the field.

Like I said Shazier would be an uprade but I would like to see him playing where he excels. The question is can Misi make the transition inside and Ellerbe outside? I actually think Misi can. He's a gamer.

The fact is though straight up Strazier is an upgrade over Wheeler hands down.

At the top of this draft Clowney is a better fit for Jax and Mack is a better fit for Houston. This to me would be the best trade. Unfortunately for Jax it costs way too much. BUT with all that Houston could still grab Mack instead of Clowney. It will be interesting to see.

...I think this is the classic example of a smokecreen. Miami wants options. Miami wants, and needs an offensive lineman. We may take one at 19 that we get later down the line with perhaps an additional 2nd maybe third round pick...To me. The pick I going to be offensive line. The question I where we will pick?

Does Maziel go to the Bucs now or does he slide farther??

It's anybody's guess at this point.

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | May 07, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Post of the Day!

What's up Dolfan Rick?

...Look like my s quit working on that last post..

Rick, even if the Misi to the middle experiment doesn't work out I think Ellerbe could improve. Shazier replacing Wheeler will be an upgrade. Ellerbe will not have to clean up his mistakes. Also, hopefully another year as 4-3 MLB will help Ellerbe.

Dolfan Rick

I saw that yesterday too. In order I'd take the players in this order.

1.Mosley - I'd take in heartbeat. He might not be some game changer but he will be a good player that would upgrade a weak LB unit. (I like Shazier too)

2.Ebron - He's a true seam TE with a ton of ability. He would be #1 if he was truly upgrading a position but in round 1 taking him just to take him is like last year taking D. Jordan when Wake and Vernon (who did show promise as a rookie before having a breakout yr). Plus Ebron has supposedly a terrible personality and "me" attitude don't think we need another one of them guys.

3.Moses - I would understand the selection even if Im not wowed by it. The Oline has to be addressed with at least 2 guys in the first 4 rounds IMO. He would be a formidable RT at the very least with no pressure to play LT. His size and arm length is very nice and he looks the part of a quality starting RT.

4.Martin - again I'd understand but Im not blown away and not following the "safest, cleanest prospect" crap. They said the same thing about so many other guys before him. Not to mention he's a G not an OT IMO. He could go on to be very good just not my cup of tea for round 1. If Miami were to trade back to late round 1 like San Fran or Denver and got him then I'd love it but not at 19.

5.Koundjio - not a fan at all. I actually watched the game when he got exposed over and over again vs Oklahoma. He reminded me so much of J. Martin there. Just getting abused. He also is in my opinion a terrible fit for a zone scheme. It would be fitting a square peg in a round hole once again.


Do you see Shazier starting right out of the gate or is there a learning curve?

Posted by: Tim in Tampa | May 07, 2014 at 10:57 AM


Doing great Tim. Just coasting through work today, its my Friday. Off the next two days for draft fever. Any excuse for a party. Not to thrilled with our Rays though.


Agree with you on Ellerbe. He was supposed to replace Ray Lewis . Maybe there is more to him than we've seen.

Posted by: Texas_Dolfan | May 07, 2014 at 11:03 AM


No way he can be any worse than Wheeler out of the gate.

Dolfan Rick.....

I've been lurking here and making note of people's mocks.
Except for a few of the goofy posts, there have been some great arguments about who we should take and when.

Problem for me is that some team(s) will make a trade and that throws my mock on its ear. The resulting scenarios are too complicated for me.

I'm just gonna kick back and put my trust in Hickey and hope he's the real deal.

Have a great draft party!


If the top tackles are gone and either Shazier or Mosely is available then no brainer. If we are stretching for a Jonathan Martin at 19 to fill a need I will be be pissed. If we trade up and get the guy who is going to solid starter for 4-5 years, I am fine giving up a second.

Not too much difference in talent from round 2-5. Your first round has to count. Has to be Elite.


Manziel was mocked to the Rams at number 2 in the NFL network mock last night and that threw me for a loop. I personally don't see it. But it made me think for the first time that he could be drafted top 10. I am not saying he's a top 10 player at all. I am starting to wonder if there is a team that will pick him and let him sit for a couple years to develop. He's got talent and loves the game but he's not NFL ready. In my humble opinion.

If in the top 10 you would need a strong coach and GM. The Rams have that plus a QB that can start the next 2 years. So that pick is really making me think it could happen.

....My issue with Shazier. We want to get better against the run. Hi weakness is getting off blocks in the run game. Now, this doesn't mean he will never be able do it. And hopefully our interior d-line is better at establishing the point of attack. But I think it is a huge assumption that Shazier would be anything more then a situational player next year. 10-15 snaps a game...

This doesn't fit a need for us now. He I not an offensive lineman that will play 60 snaps a game....To me this is nothing more then a move to draw interest from team behind us for a possible trade...


I see too many of the 4 premier positions being taken early on. And too many elite prospects overall. I actually can see Shazier, Martin and Mosley all being available when Miami picks or at least 2 of 3.

QBs - Bortles, Manziel
LT - Robinson, Matthews, Lewan (maybe a RT but elite)

Pass Rusher - Clowney, Mack, Barr
CB - Gilbert, Dennard, Fuller

Fill in elite prospects - Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Aaron Donald, Clinton-Dix, Pryor (maybe a stretch), Ebron

Thanks Tim. I will admit I'm a little burnt out myself on watching film, keeping up with the combine etc. I just go by what I see amymore. I used to be all over it.

If I knew what I was talking about though I would be invited to Radio City Music Hall for the party. Have a good one and Go Fins!


That is the toughest part about a mock that we cannot know what trades will happen and where.

In the 1st round the areas that seem like trades could happen are:

2, 5, 8, 13, 16, 19 and there could also be a slew of trades in the end of the first for teams coming back into the 1st to get their QB.

Posted by: Texas_Dolfan | May 07, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Spot on my man!


I like your list for the most part. The only thing I will say about Martin is he was big time productive at ND and he plays his arse off. The only knock on him is his arms are about an inch shorter than what you like in a tackle.

On Moses I think the knock is that he isn't as versatile or as athletic as you would like. I have a feeling he'll be a good RT in this league though.

What if HA HA Dick is there are you guys pulling the trigger? LOL

Hi guys, I'm a central Florida transplant here in Columbus Ohio, very familiar with Ryan Shazier, solid pick at 19, however, we'd still have issues in the LB mix, how about moving Ellerbe to the strong side and let Misi and Jenkins fight it out for the Mike position. We need better tackling and coverage from the our LBs, the next priority between rds 2 - 4 OT, RB, Wr.

Posted by: Darryl Dunphy | May 07, 2014 at 11:11 AM


I actually hope your right about the smokescreens Darryl.

I totally get the arguments on bpa but I would really like to see the offensive line resolved once and for all.

All bets are off if our o-line doesn't improve.

I think with some tweaking and coaching we can compete with the defensive personnel we have. Of couse thats assuming Jamar Taylor makes an impact and we shore up the run D.

Shazier would be our best Linebacker immediately

Posted by: smitrock | May 07, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Good post.

Along with the o-line that needs SERIOUS help, is that 21st ranked defense.

Shazier would be a luxury we just can't afford.

If we don't get done reinforcing the whole line once and for all Lackey will need to start looking around for franchise QB prospects really soon and who knows for how long. And we would have wasted the whole 2014 season too!

I seriously hope this piece of bad news is just a smoke screen.

If those guys are all there Andy, I would say the Dolphins would jump on Martin. UNLESS SF wanted to jump on Mosley and gave enough to make it worth while to trade to 30.

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | May 07, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I'm with you Dolfan Rick.
The o-line is CRITICAL.
58 sacks and a 26th ranked rushing attack is UNACCEPTABLE.


I actually would like to see more of Jelani Jenkins myself. He can't be any worse then what was out there last year. Ellerbe was a huge bust but I do think he is a capable starter just not at MLB, he has some skills. Wheeler is flat terrible in every phase of the game. Misi is ok but very inconsistent to be a starter IMO.

As an OSU fan that watched Shazier, he's a competent LB, but he tends to get dinged up easily, which leads me to believe he might have durability issues in the NFL.

Posted by: AndyNJ | May 07, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Have you considered that perhaps Kevin Coyle is less than a capable DC?

I have been giving that some serious thought lately.

I say trade that pick 2 times for a slew of 2 s. 3s and 4 s then my friends we are in business yup trade back twice right out of the first round

Tim Tampa,

Coyle is so so with me until I sit back and realize how winnable those Tampa and Carolina and even late in first Bills game. I know it's woulda, coulda, shoulda but Miami players lost both of them. The play calling was spot on but the players failed over and over to make the plays.

Bills they couldn't tackle Fred Jackson at all on that final drive when they were in position to do so.

Tampa Bay was a joke all night where guys were in position but didn't tackle or finish.

Panthers game was all but won and players couldn't finish the job.

Coyle isn't cutting edge but he's aces with me. I have no problem with him. Sherman on the other hand was worse then Dan Henning. He was terrible. The game passed him.

I want to say they Graham habve their confessional place. Also the prior games he had that was in spot. Mike Wallace had that important catch, you recall? they at that level can be a circus weapon for o

marc nj

If Mosley is gone which could change the LB fortunes and Martin/Lewan are gone I have no problem doing a double trade back and acquiring more some 2's and 3's.

Andy, a coach leaving Wheeler out there at OLB when you had the #3 pick in the draft sitting on the ebnch when he had high pff grades in the run game and pass coverage was aces to you?

How about that last play before the ahlf in the Carolina game which seemed to tip the scales.


he's a pure deuce in my book.. a pure #2..

Well the defense has definately regressed since Nolan left.

Even in Coyle's first season when the personnel was basically the same. At least that year they stopped the run for the most part though.

Last year was just ridiculous at times. Couldn't stop the run even when they knew the play was going to be a run. Thats just straight up getting out played.

I think alot of that is on the linebackers but Starks and Soliai were inconsistant and the safeties regressed as well.

Say what Charles?


Who does Houston take? Mack better fit but Clowney well is Clowney and the number 1 player coming out.

I meant about the catch Mike Wallace had. mulriple news source DID show it various le times, I would say 17 or more.

I should post my own mock on here if I have time. I'm sure I'd be quite a bit off, but it would be fun. I see pick number 1 being Clowney if Houston doesn't trade the pick.

I used to find the draft interesting but over the past decade or so I've come to realize how completely pointless the instant analysis of these players is, and how utterly worthless the opinions about their prospects are---including, needless to say, from fans as well.

Is there a threat of rain in our viewing area?

PFT talking about where Bortles may go. The one thing I have found interesting all along is Houston with a new coach and no QB to speak of not wanting to find their franchise guy.

It's has been said that Bill O'Brien prefers to classic pocket passer ala Tom Brady.

Maybe that guy is Bortles??


The kid is awesome, smart, good character, team captain, reads the field.. Controls the defense..
Immediate starter and impact player.

Yea- lets draft a WR, or a second round rated OT..

Good call people.. Miami always knows how to screw it up.. Ted Ginn and his family.

#2 work for?

Bortles? LOL

Expect O'Brien or the GM to be fired in a couple of years

Oscar will be here as soon as he returns from the Bodega buying his Cuban Witch Oil and Lucky Money Candles.


IMO Houston needs to trade down for their best offer and give up on the blockbuster deal the Rams got so Washington could draft RGIII.

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