Well, leave it to the Steelers to select someone I completely left off of my predictions list. With the 15th overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft the Pittsburgh Steelers selected inside linebacker Ryan “Icebox” Shazier of Ohio State. The speedy Shazier has been described by Mike Tomlin as a “defensive playmaker” and will likely get a shot to compete for a starting inside linebacker shot to begin training camp. While I personally would have rather seen the Steelers select CJ Mosley who went Two picks later to the Baltimore Ravens or cornerback Darqueze Dennard the team seems to be keen on Shazier and if he is part of a youth movement on the defensive side of the ball than I am all for the pick.
Much like the entire defense the Steelers linebackers corps is in need of repair. While the secondary seems to be in more dire shape I am all but certain it is a position that will be addressed as the draft progresses. During the post selection press conference Mike Tomlin praised Shazier saying:
“His production speaks for itself,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “His tape says he doesn’t need my endorsement. He plays with a lot of urgency. He was a significant contributor and really improved through his stay there.”
Tomlin added: “Quite frankly, the guy has no holes.”
Shazier will join Lawrence Timmons on the interior of the linebacker corps in the 3-4 defense. Along with Jarvis Jones and likely Jason Worilds the corps will have the pleasure of matching up against Johnny Manziel for the foreseeable future as the Texas A&M quarterback was selected by Cleveland after they traded up to the 22nd pick. In what perhaps is an omen for the future of Jonny Football the Browns also used the 22nd overall pick to select eventual flops Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden.