NFL prospect focus: Ryan Shazier and Brad Roby

Ryan Shazier – Linebacker – Ohio State

Size – 6020e -225e – 4.57e

Strong Points – Excellent athlete with speed, instinctive, physical, productive, defense run, pass drop and coverage, tackle, very competitive

Weak Points – Size, can get over powered at the point at times

2013 Stats - 143 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, four forced fumbles

Summation- Shazier is a third-year junior who is entering the Draft. He has been a starter at Ohio State since the latter part of his freshman season in 2011. He has been very productive, but I don’t see the same tackle production on tape that the Ohio State shows in its stats. I charted four games, and there are plays he gets credit for when he is the third guy in on a tackle.

Shazier does not have a typical linebacker's frame. He looks more the part of a big strong safety. He is lean with very long arms. While he has good overall strength, he is more explosive than strong. This will show, at times, when he has to take on big offensive linemen at the point of attack. He is better at slipping blocks than taking on and shedding, but he still has quick hands and does a good overall job.

Shazier has very good instincts and a nose for the ball. He anticipates very well and is a quick reactor. With his speed, athleticism, and competitiveness, he finds a way to get to the ball. He gets his high number of tackles for loss because he can shoot a gap before a blocker can get on him. While he is good versus the inside run, he is excellent versus the outside run. He takes very good pursuit angles and has great speed for a linebacker.

Despite not having top size, Shazier is a very good blitzer. He has a knack for finding an opening and does an excellent job timing his blitzes. He has an excellent burst coming off a block to close and is very aggressive.
Ryan is also very good in coverage. With his speed and athleticism, he matches up well versus backs and tight ends. He has the suddenness to play man and is alert in zone. His ball skills are good.

Overall, Shazier best fits a 4-3 team as a Will linebacker. In a Tampa-2 type scheme, he can be a future All Pro. He needs to gain some bulk and learn how to shed lineman a little better. At this time, I don’t see him as a good fit to play in a 3-4. He just doesn’t have the bulk that most 3-4 teams are looking for. He is a probable first round pick.

Grade A 6.7

Brad Roby – Corner – Ohio State

Size – 5110e – 195e – 4.39e

Strong Points – Good corner size, very good athlete with excellent speed, back pedal and turn, transition, man cover, zone cover, off coverage, run support

Weak Points – Needs to tackle better

2013 stats - 69 total tackles, three interceptions. 13 PBUs

Summation – Roby is a fourth-year junior and a three-year starter for Ohio State. He usually lines up on the short side of the field. He has been a consistently productive player for Ohio State and has eight career interceptions.

At about 5’11 – 195, he has good corner size. With his long arms, he can play taller than he is. He is a very good athlete with quick feet, loose hips, a quick turn, and the suddenness needed to play corner in the NFL. In the OSU defensive scheme, you see him play man, off, and zone. So you get a good feel for his abilities.

In man, he has a good jam and shows the quickness and speed needed to mirror receivers. He can stay with his opponent through moves with his excellent body control. When playing in off and zone, he anticipates well and consistently keeps good position. He has very good awareness and can play the ball well. His ability to plant and drive is excellent. Roby has very good ball skills and can track the ball either in front of him or when his back is to the ball.

There are many corners who are not very good run support players. That is not the case with Roby. He reacts quickly to the run and is aggressive. He can shed well and is a hitter. My only concern is that he doesn’t consistently wrap and will miss some tackles.

Roby has all of the tools to be a very good NFL corner. He just may time as one of the fastest at the combine. I don’t see any reason why he can’t play in any scheme, and he should be a starter his rookie year. He has the talent to eventually be a club’s number one corner

Grade A 6.7

Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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