Ryan Shazier lays a big hit on a Cal quarterback

Jamie Sabau

It's this kind of vision and explosive athleticism that led the Steelers to take Shazier with the 15th pick. As a stand-alone trait, his speed is beneficial but his biggest value will be what that allows others to do.

It appears Steelers first round pick Ryan Shazier can get off blocks. More pointedly, he can get off them, around them, accelerate and squarely knock a running quarterback on his tail.

C'mon out to the edge, Johnny, that's where the players are.

The speed aspect of Shazier's game alone is enough to remain excited 36 hours after his selection. The explosiveness in space the Steelers can now utilize will make other defensive players better.

Attacking the A-gap on a Dick LeBeau staple bliz like the fire zone (ILBs cross and go into opposite gaps) with two players moving as fast as Shazier and Lawrence Timmons is exciting. Add in the element of disguise with a player like Jarvis Jones, who can move well in coverage, and keep the tackle from helping the conflict inside his shoulder.

All of that with a strong safety who's headed to the Hall of Fame, and gets to play his original position again - undefined, roaming the box, making plays on the ball.

Shazier's speed may be his best element, but his best contribution right away will be how that speed will make those around him better.

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