Ryan Shazier Drafted 15th Overall by Steelers

By Kyle Rowland on May 8, 2014 at 9:45p

Ryan Shazier is headed to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers selected Shazier with the 15th overall pick, where he’ll join former Buckeyes Cam Heyward and Mike Adams. Shazier is the 68th Ohio State player to be drafted in the first round and first since Heyward in 2011.

“What we needed was a defensive playmaker, and he fits the bill in that regard,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. “Not only in terms of his skill set, but also what he did on the field. He was a highly productive football player.

“He gets after the quarterback and has made plays in coverage as well. We needed a defensive playmaker.”

Shazier impressed front office personnel at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 42-inch vertical, then he ran a sub-4.4 40 at Ohio State’s Pro Day, solidifying his status as a first-round draft pick.

Ohio State's First Round Linebackers
Year Pick Player Team
2014 15 Ryan Shazier Pittsburgh Steelers
2006 5 A.J. Hawk Green Bay Packers
2006 18 Bobby Carpenter Dallas Cowboys
1999 28 Andy Katzenmoyer New England Patriots
1995 30 Craig Powell Cleveland Browns
1979 1 Tom Cousineau Buffalo Bills
1977 23 Bob Brudzinski Los Angeles Rams
1974 13 Rick Middleton New Orleans Saints
1974 14 Randy Gradishar Denver Broncos

“His biggest asset, other than his youth, is his speed,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said. “This guy can flat-out run. And the thing that really attracts you to him from a defensive standpoint against today's offenses is that as they continue to spread out, you need speed.

“He can make plays laterally, and most were tackles for losses. So we're super excited that he was there for us. Ryan Shazier was somebody that we valued and valued very highly. We're well aware of who we have on our team, but when we can add a player of quality, it will override the need every time.”

Shazier finished the 2013 season with 143 tackles, sixth-most nationally, and tied for 13th on the Ohio State single season charts. He also had 22.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and four forced fumbles. In a win over Indiana, he recorded 20 tackles, including school records for solo tackles (16) and tackles for loss (five).

Shazier’s 101 solo tackles ranked third nationally. It was the third-highest total in program history behind Tom Cousineau's 142 in 1978 and Chris Spielman's 105 in 1986. Shazier tallied 315 career tackles, placing 14th in school history.

“He’s got to continue to get bigger,” said ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay of the 6-foot-1, 237-pound Shazier. “He struggled to put weight on and keep weight on. But I love him as a football player. One hundred forty-three tackles last year, six sacks, he can cover form sideline to sideline, he plays the game hard, he contributes on special teams, he shows up big in big moments, does a good job with reading his keys, takes a false step here and there, but he’s got the speed to overcome it.

“I just think he’s going to continue to get better and better, I really do. Seventy-one tackles in the final five games when Ohio State needed him the most. With everyone around him seemingly falling apart and the mistakes they were making and as bad as things got defensively, he was the one guy who kept attacking and kept making plays.”

Pittsburgh's defensive coordinator is Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau, an Ohio State alum.

“Coach LeBeau is a great coach, and he's been there for a while. So I can't wait to get things rolling and get back to the old ways,” Shazier said.

In 2013, Shazier was named a first-team Associated Press, USA Today and ESPN.com All-American and first-team all-Big Ten by the coaches and media. He also was a Butkus Award finalist and Bednarik and Lott award semifinalist.

“I’m really happy with what I did,” Shazier said at Pro Day. “I feel I kind of did what everyone wanted me to do. I definitely feel like I'm a first-round pick.”

In the end, he was prophetic. 


Comments Show All Comments

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Congrats RDS! But damn it Steelers.

+21 HS
OSUStu's picture

Go Steelers!  I have no idea how to feel about this.  Thrilled (but we had bigger needs than LB)  Can't wait to keep rooting for him!

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+6 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Ya like a CB. We spurned D.Denard from MSU and went with the Buckeye. I'm not complaining. Roby in the 2nd anyone???

"It was a woman who drove me to drink, come to think of it I never did hang around to thank her for that"

OSUStu's picture

I wouldn't complain about that at all.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Jeremypreemo81's picture

You should feel great-class act kid going to a class act organization.  It's a win-win for all parties involved.  Good Luck RDS!!!!!

+2 HS
BHT's picture

Great pick, joins Cam Heyward on defense. RDS will be a force to contend with.

And do you guys have these posts pre-typed? This was posted within seconds of the pick.

+5 HS
UrbanCulture's picture

2 of my favorite buckeye defenders on one team! Heyward and RDS

+5 HS
Ammon22's picture

RDS hell yes!  Go Steelers!

Greg Ammon

+4 HS
JTACbuckeye's picture

congrats RDS!  love the Steelers going after him early!

The strong will stand, the weak will fall by the wayside.  100% and then some!

+1 HS
JCOOP22's picture

YESSS!!!!! dont forget he will join Cam also.

+1 HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Sucks as a Bengal fan but what the hell. GO RDS!

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

+2 HS
tommrkr's picture

Ah, but as a Bengal fan, you can take happiness from watching Johnny Football get DEBACLED by RDS one day!

+3 HS
Silver Bullet 10's picture

i will never root for the Steelers, but I cant help but scream SHAZIEEEEEEEERR whenever he makes a play

+3 HS
ODEEZ330's picture

1St lb drafted. The real lbu

stark county football

-6 HS
Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Minn took Barr. 

Read my entire screen name....

+1 HS
northwest_buckeye's picture

Great pick by Pittsburgh, and an even better fit for Shazier. An aging, but still solid LB core that he can learn a bunch from. Best of luck, man.

I've never said I 'hate' anyone because that would imply I had any emotion for them whatsoever.

TLB's picture

Who is old?  Timmons?  rest are fairly young

PoKeY21's picture

Aging lol!! They have Jarvis Jones who was a rookie last year and Jason Worilds on the outside in his first year starting. Shaziers a rookie and should step up next year. Timmons is the aging one I guess at 27 years old?

"It was a woman who drove me to drink, come to think of it I never did hang around to thank her for that"

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Hate the Stillers, but love the pick.

CGroverL's picture

LMAO!!! Here in central Florida, no one understands who the "Stillers" are. Being that I have lived in Florida for 34 years now, I have often heard northern people say "Stillers" and Florida NFL fans have no idea who they are for the most part (some do as it seems that half of Ohioans have moved here since I have...I meet Buckeyes all the time). All of my family and friends in Florida that are from Ohio still call Pittsburgh's team the "Stillers". It has always made me laugh and I hear it VERY often here in Florida despite the language difference as Florida, contrary to popular belief, is NOT a southern state. Georgia and Alabama are southern states...Florida is not. No southern accents, very few rednecks (besides my wife and me), and the majority of the natives here are very stuck up. Funny comment for me.

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I'm an Ohioan living in Florida too & I can assure you it is most certainly a southern state!! Are you in Orlando? Because there are plenty of Northerners there...but head to some other parts & you'll find out fast that it's southern as all hell...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+2 HS
Jack Burton's picture

Agreed, plenty of rednecks in FL!

It's all in the reflexes - Me

cinserious's picture


One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Stillers I can live with.

It's that whole " youinz" thing that drives me nuts.

"Hey...did youinz guys see the draft?" (No...I just brushed up on my regional dialect some last night)

+2 HS
NitroBuck's picture

LOL at "youinz".  That and "donton" for downtown.  

Hey, youinz headed donton ta watch the Stillers?

Ferio.  Tego.

+1 HS
tommrkr's picture

And sit in traffic with all those jagoffs in the tunnel?  I'll go down to giant iggle, get some iron city and watch it on tv!

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Nice - that's bona-fide Stiller speak right there.

AndyVance's picture

The middle-school lunch lady said "youinz" all the time, and one of my smartass classmates asked "what's a youinz." Her response was "y'all plus three." (Actually I think that was  Jeff Foxworthy line, but the lunch lady said something like that.)

+2 HS
cinserious's picture

It sounds like some kind of Chicago/Philly/NY mashup. Whatever.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

PoKeY21's picture

Yinz is a Pittsburgh thing I think it came about by Irish people and maybe English people living together in Pittsburgh way back when. It's kind of like Youse in NY. I'm pretty sure they are both derived from an Irish word that was mixed with the local cultures in each region. BTW I would say the whole Yinz culture extends from Pittsburgh to as far West as Zaneeville. It's a more Appalachian word than anything if I had to guess.

"It was a woman who drove me to drink, come to think of it I never did hang around to thank her for that"

dan_isaacs's picture

Why do the teams I hate draft the players I love?

Dan Isaacs

+14 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

Not a fan of the steelers so not really happy about this one but at least its not the Donkeys! and how about Shazier on the steelers and CJ Mosley with Baltimore! Battle of the linebackers in that division.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

-1 HS
HouseHarleyBuilt's picture

As a diehard Steelers fan, I am on cloud nine.

Treat every opponent as if they are capable of beating you, because guess what? They are.

+5 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

I turn to my buddy and fiance, who are both steeler fans (I am a Browns fan) and say, "If you guys pick up a Buckeye I am going to be so pissed."

Jokes on me... I called that shiz and I am pissed, but very happy for Shazier.

Good luck, Sir. 

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+4 HS
Crumb's picture

Every time Dalton gets pressured against Pittsburgh (which is usually a lot) I'll hope it's RDS or Cam Heyward, cause then I won't be that pissed off that they got through.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+2 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Love this pick for the Steelers!  As a life long Steeler and Buckeye fan I can't be more happy to see them pick up a great player in RDS!!

+5 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Wow this makes 11Ws "when going high goes wrong" extremely eerie for me. However the steelers don't usually miss with 1st round selections. Heyward and Holmes have proven themselves. Adams is still trying to prove himself just like Shazier has to do now. He should look pretty good roaming around with Lawerence Timmons in the middle if the field for years to come.

"It was a woman who drove me to drink, come to think of it I never did hang around to thank her for that"

+1 HS
Andrewkc's picture

On SI.com's draft tracker page, I'm pretty sure they have a picture of Philly Brown where Shazier's should be. Right?



+1 HS
OSUStu's picture

Yeah, clue #1 is that Shazier has no facial hair or eyebrows.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+2 HS
tommrkr's picture

not sure why you're being downvoted... dude has alopecia, so it kinda sticks out.

+1 HS
OSUStu's picture

Yeah, it wasn't meant as an insult.  Oh, well.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

WhySoSerious's picture

Guess I can root for him and Cam when they on my Ravens. Congrats!!!! love this dude. 


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

SilverBullet-98's picture

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Rooney Family know Thee Ohio State Quality and Character.

Still hard to believe the let Vrabel go.

Go Bucks, I'll enjoy watching another Buckeye play at Pittsburgh with Mike Adams, Cam Heyward, Will Allen and now Shazier!!

"The Past Builds the Future"

+3 HS
GVerrilli92's picture

I imagine the Steelers will get a little more creative with how they use RDS than just "putting him on the inside." Vrabel put him down on the line at times and flexed him out for seal support. Sometimes I think these analysts use youtube.

I got a gray kitty, white kitty, tabby too, and a little orange guy who puts snakes in my shoes. Got mad MC skills, that leave ya struck, and I roll with my kitties and I'm hard as f*ck.

TLB's picture

you guys should be watching NFL network.  Mayock is the best analyst

-1 HS
Jason Priestas's picture

Is the family happy with the pick?

TLB's picture

Yeah, fits a need and he's a 3 down player, which I don't believe Mosley will be.  We thought they'd go DB but he must have been the highest rated player on the board.

dlb72osu's picture

I'm not a Pittsburgh fan but it'll be great to watch RDS as he gets two shots at Johnny Football every year. Don't think JM will be able to scramble around quite as easily in the pros. 

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

- Invictus

+2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Damnit! Why can't Buckeyes go to teams I like? The only thing worse would have been if he went to Ravens! I am happy for him, but sad for me. LOL


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

ERIC OSU's picture

What a night! I thought 2011 was the pinnacle with Heyward... Now Shazier! Love my buckeyes, love my steelers!

+4 HS
D-Day0043's picture

I loath the Steelers but I am happy for RDS. I wish the Bengals would recognize Ohio State talent more. Although I am happy with the Dennard pick because Kirkpatrick has been a bust, I was hoping they would take El Guapo. I would have loved to see him and Gio Bernard in the backfield.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

buckeyeotaku's picture

this makes two of my fovorite buckeyes on my least favorite NFL team, i don't know how to feel.

We don't give a damn for the whole state of Bichigan

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

I did not see this coming, and actually made some blow-off comment on Twitter about hoping that The Venerable Dick LeBeau would convince the front office to draft RDS. When my phone buzzed that they actually HAD drafted RDS, I was quite pleasantly surprised.


+2 HS
741's picture

I hope they take El Guapo in the 2nd round.

+1 HS
avail31678's picture

I had heard the Browns had their eye on El Guapo...they have the third pick in round 2 I believe...I wonder what they're gonna do.

RedStorm45's picture

Jags will get him before the Browns.  Their only RB is Toby Gerhart haha

CGroverL's picture

First, 237 pounds is not THAT small for an OLB on a 3-4 team ESPECIALLY when you can run a sub 4.4 40 yard dash. Really, this is a perfect pick for a defense coached by Dick Le Beau. I hate the Stillers as they are a love or hate team (like our beloved Buckeyes) but because of being pressured by Dad as a kid I have always been a NE Pats fan, so the hate has been there for a while. I don't pretend to know the NFL game as well as I do the college game, but I still understand that.............. Shazier is a great pick for any 34 team, Bradley Roby is a good player, despite his disappointing senior season (his tackling is underrated but will improve and until his senior season, he was the fastest Buckeye for almost his entire Buckeye career with his fastest fast 40 time at 4.31 seconds, which he ran as a sophomore), and "El Guapo" is the most NFL ready RB with 40 times under 4.4 flat and a 240 pound frame (and he should have been a first round pick as well). Hyde is the biggest disappointment as he won't be and now isn't a first round pick, but that means that any team that takes him now (the 1st round just ended) may get the best overall value in the draft. Pound 'em, "El Guapo"...Buckeye Nation will miss you, Mr. Shazier and Mr. Roby. We'll see you find a home, too, "El Guapo".

"I hope they're last in everything". One of Meyer's comments when speaking of TTUN after being hired at Ohio State.



O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

I hate the Steelers, but Shazam. Great pick. Good luck RDS. Enjoy your time with Coach LeBeau. Can't wait to watch him go against El Guapo and the Browns.

+1 HS
irishfury's picture

yeah wish I could trade Ebron for Shazier as a lions fan.

OSUFlash's picture

As a Steeler fan all I can say is all is right with the world. And the coffee tastes especially good this morning.


+2 HS
AkronBuckeye13's picture

As a Buckeye and Browns fan  this was my reaction:


TossTrap's picture

I am also a Buckeye and Browns fan. But I have some fondness for the Steelers. Let's remember that the Rooneys were against Model moving the team to Baltimore, and I will never forget the Steeler organization making a big deal out of the game the last time the old Browns played them. They honored the Browns and stated how proud they were to have had such a wonderful rivalry with the team.

I have lots of Steeler love! A class organization!

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

Amazing that Laurinitis wasn't a 1st rounder.


Congrats to RDS.  Not sure if it's a great fit though.  He's a prototypical 4-3 WLB.  At barely 240 lbs, do the Steelers want to mold him into an inside backer in their 3-4?  Seems more useful out on the edge and utilizing his speed to rush the passer or drop in coverage sideline to sideline.  Or do they want him as an outside backer in the 3-4?  He was previously a DE in high school so maybe that combo works.  Just not sure if he fits as a 3-4 inside backer, but who knows.  Thought he'd fit more in a 4-3 defense, but that's probably because he played so will in Ohio State's 4-3.

d5k's picture

Modern NFL has no room for those old school conventional ways of thinking about positions.  He can do several things really well that any defense needs to solve (cover TE's, RB's, rush the passer, tackle).  Btw, Ray Lewis was 225lbs coming out of college which I only realized last night since they brought up Kiper's profile of RayRay.

BrooklynBuckeye's picture

Can't believe Spielman wasn't a first round pick. 29th overall, so it would be first round with this many teams, but still surprising.

Off-topic: That 1988 Draft had three hall-of-fame WRs taken in the top-10. Tim Brown, Sterling Sharpe, Michael Irvin. Pretty crazy.

-1 HS
HandsOfSweed's picture

On-topic: That 1988 draft had one HOF Wr. taken in the top 10. Michael Irvin. Brown will get in someday, most likely. Sharpe won't.

Citrus's picture

Ugh! Hurts me to know that RDS is going to be killing the Brownies twice a year. I am sure he is going to excel there.

klfeck's picture

Leave it to the Steelers to make a smart decision and pick up RDS. Hate the org, love their commitment to excellence.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

cinserious's picture

I'm extremely proud Ryan Shazier chose the Bucks, he's OSU4LYFE. Tressel and staff did a helluva job recruiting him (as did Meyer). I've never seen a 200lb h.s. defensive end go to a place like Ohio State and tear it up as a LB from season one. What a physical specimen he's progressively become each of his three years here. Credit his upbringing and his desire to achieve.   I know it sounds like I have a man-crush on mr. Shazier but to compensate, his mom's a total MILF.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

osubuckeye4life's picture

Congrats RDS! I can't wait to see you play at the next level!!!