Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker prospect Ryan Shazier has been one of the fastest risers in the days leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, and the sheer amount of buzz he has received could even cause him to become a top 20 pick. While that isn’t likely, it’s very much a possibility, as evidenced by this latest report from the NFL Network’s Albert Breer.
Per Breer, who first reported Shazier’s growing buzz, the Tennessee Titans “like” the OSU standout, even if they aren’t interested in reaching for him at No. 11. This is still noteworthy, though, because the Titans are a trade-down candidate due to trade talks of unspecified depth with the New York Jets, who have some interest in trading up to secure a marquee wide receiver. If fellow rising prospect Odell Beckham Jr. makes it past the likes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills in the top ten, then the Jets could snag him at 11 by trading with Tennessee. In that case, the Titans could take him at No. 18 if they like him enough, and they could definitely use some help at linebacker.
Breer also reports that the Dallas Cowboys, who could use help just about anywhere on defense, “could very well take him” with the 16th overall pick. If Aaron Donald, Taylor Lewan, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix aren’t there, then I wouldn’t be shocked if the Cowboys went with a linebacker like C.J. Mosley or Shazier. While Mosley is the better prospect, he also comes with injury concerns. Shazier is an uber-athletic, explosive linebacker who fits the new breed of 4-3 OLBs, though he could also succeed as a 3-4 ILB or “Mike”. He would be a great complement at LB for Sean Lee, but the Cowboys have two bigger needs on defense at safety and for pass rushers on the defensive line.