Ryan Shazier was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2014 Draft, even though many fans wanted a First Round Cornerback and some wanted a First Round Wide Receiver. Neither got their wish… Or did they? At least some of them did!
Ryan Shazier is a Linebacker that can and has played both inside and outside. He also just happens to run the forty in 4.38 seconds. Cornerbacks, whether they are at the top of the draft rankings or at the bottom, the best forty yard dash times for them range from 4.31 to 4.37 seconds. Standing 6’1 tall and weighing 237 Lbs. makes him the biggest player in the draft to run the forty that fast. In fact, Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver the fourth overall pick in the 2014 Draft and he runs a 4.39 forty.
Fans for the Pittsburgh Steelers may have said, "We want a Cornerback in the first round!" but what we were really saying is, "We want our number one ranked secondary back!" and Ryan Shazier is going to give us exactly what we really wanted! Playing Inside Linebacker next to a player such as Lawrence Timmons allows Dick LeBeau the luxury of being able to put either in pass protection and sending the other in to blitz. Shazier has the speed of a Cornerback and is able to cover just about any Wide Receiver the opposition can throw at him. If he is asked to blitz, he has the kind of speed that will get him in the face of the Quarterback in a blink of an eye. Of course speed isn’t everything, but Shazier has all the needed tools to be a force to be reckoned with and the smarts to only get better.
I’ve read articles and watched interviews of just about every draft selection made by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After all the smoke cleared, the majority of players being spoken about are not Dre Archer and that kind of has me scratching my head. I consider Dre Archer as probably the best Steelers draft selection in the 2014 draft. I put a lot of value on field position, especially since the kickoff was moved up a couple of years back and Archer is going to make a lot of noise on kickoff and punt returns and give the Steelers excellent field position on a steady basis.
I personally do not like Todd Haley, I think he makes poor decisions when he platoons Running Backs and it seems when Ben Roethlisberger calls his own pass plays in the no huddle, they are better calls then those Haley sends in from the sidelines. However, there is one thing that Todd Haley does right as opposed to his predecessor Bruce Arians, he knows how to get his money’s worth out of outstanding Utility Players and will not waste them just returning kickoffs and punts like Arians did with Stephan Logan.
Dre Archer will not only make headlines on Special Teams, but as a Utility Player as well. He is going to be used at Running Back and Slot Receiver and if you go to youtube.com, you can see some highlight reels on him and see that he can catch a pass over his shoulder as good as any Wide Receiver I have ever seen play the game. He can outrun most Defenses to the outside as well, making him extremely dangerous running with the ball to the outside or catching short passes in the flats. Again, speed isn’t everything but this kid has some serious talent and the fact that he was the fastest player in the 2014 Combine is just icing on the cake!