Report Prepared By John Harris
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0:04 Excellent read on reverse. With better contain by OLB, he'd make impact play
0:13 Takes on TE, rips underneath block and assists on TFL
0:38 Good read, plays downhill, initiates contact, just got no help from backside LB either - NONE. Technically, this is close to perfect.
2:01 Good read, overruns the ball carrier, should've been no gain.
2:08 Stones the ball carrier with perfect form tackle - doesn't go backwards - RB stopped on contact
2:14 Backside LB on this play - watch him take proper downfield pursuit angle - this is great.
2:34 Plays off block well, can't finish the play with a tackle
2:54 Again, a bad angle on hitch screen, overruns the receiver
3:14 Keeps his feet against one blocker, another guy cutting him, stays on feet, explodes to the ball carrier and makes first hit. Doesn't wrap up.
3:44 Stack and shed, make a form tackle - wow, this is good.
4:39 Shows speed to get to fast WR, but doesn't play inside out properly (overruns a bit) and allows the WR to gather and truck him for 11 yard gain
5:23 The Closing Speed...wow
5:33 Gets locked up on inverted veer play - can't get loose until too late
5:54 Late read on zone read. Should've hit RB in the mouth at LOS for no gain
6:14 Excellent read - he's only defender that has a clue - gets no help from anyone on this QB run
6:59 Solid work at the goal line, plays off pulling guard for tackle on QB
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0:17 Gets bounced around by Sparty's big boys - size works against him here.
0:45 Reads QB eyes well, nearly gets the pick
0:54 Running around like a chicken with its head cut off
1:05 Excellent mirroring of the running back - if forced to cut back, he stones him for no gain
1:35 Tracks RB out of the backfield, makes tackle in space (although he nearly got jocked)
2:19 The closing speed, again...wow
2:48 Darts under a block, bad move...recovers and makes the tackle short of a first down
3:07 Impact play to be made on 4th down but it's not made.
4:24 WHAT A PLAY on special teams - drives elephant back into punter and gets hand on the punt. Wow, what a great play
The numbers don't tell the entire story. From his first start as a freshman in 2011 when he registered 15 tackles v. Penn State, Shazier hardly ever went a full 60 minutes without making a significant impact.
Let's get this out of the way, he's light. 226 lb. light. There are some teams' scouts that won't like him that small. There'll be some teams that won't know where to play him. He's a bit smaller version of St. Louis Rams LB Alec Ogletree. Well, minus the baggage and about ten to 15 pounds. But, like Ogletree, Shazier can fly to the football. There isn't a better space linebacker that I've seen on tape than Shazier. However, what stands out to me more so about Shazier than Ogletree is the former Buckeye's ability to find the football, his football IQ and his all-around football intelligence.
He reads and deciphers plays extremely well. He lined up all over the field in a multitude of positions at Ohio State in his three years as a starter. He'll show as an outside rusher. He'll line up in a Will linebacker spot in even fronts. He'll blitz the A gaps. He'll line up as a Mike linebacker in even fronts as well.
Some scouts are worried that he has to be protected but if there's anyone who plays off of blocks better, I don't know who it is. He'll get engulfed by guards/tackles at the second level on occasion but who doesn't, honestly? That said, he has active hands and knows how to stack and shed well for a guy his size. I don't think he has to be as protected as some scouts believe.
He plays downhill, reads well, has a high football IQ, gets off blocks and closes on the football. Uh, need anything else? Okay, okay, another 12 to 15 pounds would be nice. But, I wouldn't trade that extra weight for his ability to close on ball carriers, inside or out.