At the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, new Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier reportedly surprised a few scouts when weighed in at 237 pounds. He probably surprised them even more by running 4.4 second 40-yard dash with the added weight.
During his conference call with the media following him being selected by the Steelers with the 15th overall pick of the first round, Shazier was asked if he thought he needs to get even bigger in order to play inside linebacker in Pittsburgh.
“I don’t feel I have to get bigger, I’ve heard it from the coaches that my weight is personally fine,” said Shazier, who is still only 21-years-old. “I don’t want to try to get any bigger. I feel like I’m at a great weight right now.”
For a player his size, Shazier certainly has a lot of explosion and that reflects in his combine measurables. His 25 reps on the bench combined with his 42-inch vertical leap and 10’10” broad jump works out to an explosion index number of 77.83. As a means of comparison, Khalil Mack, who was drafted fifth overall Thursday night by the Oakland Raiders, posted a 73.66 explosive index number while Indianapolis, while first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney only registered a 68.93 explosive index.
Measurables aren’t everything, however, as plenty of players have come and gone after performing well in shorts. Shazier now has to show the same explosion that he had at Ohio State that resulted in him registering 143 total tackles in 2013 of which 22.5 went for lost yardage.
“Just that burst, it’s unique,” said Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert Thursday night after the selection of Shazier.
The Steelers need Shazier’s explosiveness to burst onto the scene quickly in 2014.