The Eagles are in an interesting situation at linebacker. While Connor Barwin and Mychal Kendricks seem to be long-term answers, DeMeco Ryans and Trent Cole are tenured players with talent that appear to be on their way out soon. Philadelphia is likely to look into replacements in the draft and a guy that could be intriguing at inside linebacker is Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shaizer.
An impressive athlete out of Plantation High School (same school as one-time Eagles seventh round pick Jeff Owens), Shazier committed to Ohio State in 2011. Shazier was active as true freshman, appearing in 13 games (three starts) and producing 57 total tackles (five for loss), three sacks and two forced fumbles. In his sophomore season, Shazier started in all 12 games that he appeared in and collected 115 tackles (17 tackles for loss), five sacks and three forced fumbles.
A first-team All-American in his junior season, he appeared in and started all 13 games on the season. He collected 134 tackles (22.5 for loss), six sacks and a forced fumble. He finished his three-year career with 306 total tackles (44.5 for loss), 14 sacks and nine forced fumbles.
Weight: 237 lbs
Arm Length: 32 3/8"
40: 4.36 seconds at Pro Day (Whoa!!!)
Bench: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 42.0 inches (top by LB in 2014)
Broad Jump: 130.0 inches (top by LB in 2014)
3-Cone: 6.91 seconds (fifth-best in 2014 at LB)
Shazier is an athletic freak who thrives in space. He has ridiculous blazing speed and burst at the linebacker position and plays similar to Kendricks. He is a tackling machine and can fill out a stat sheets like a talented point guard in the NBA. He blitzes very well and is strong despite his size. He has special teams experience and can make a play in the third phase. He has patience despite his speed and flows to the ball. He has solid coverage skills and his speed allows him to stick with speedy slot receivers.
He is not the best when it comes to reading a play and using his instincts. He is a bit slow to react and is a bit cautious against the run and in coverage. He has a habit of whiffing at times and can be overpowered by offensive linemen with ease, as he has little bulk. He is short for his position and likely will have to add a bit more weight if he is going to be an every-down player.
While the Eagles and Billy Davis likely love Shazier's athleticism, he is a shorter player, which seems to go against what the Eagles are looking for at linebacker. He is probably going in the 20-40 range in May, so the Eagles would probably need to spend a first round pick on him. Shazier is a guy that will likely cause some debates in the Philadelphia war room.