One of the top names projected to the Broncos in mock draft season is Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, who has officially visited the team as of the middle of this past week, per the Denver Post.
Because of his speed, the Post indicates that Shazier’s stock may be rising out of the Broncos’ draft range, but most pundits believe Shazier has a good chance of falling to Denver’s pick in the first round.
The one thing the Broncos have on their side is history, in which non-pass rushing linebackers typically don’t tend to get drafted overly high, but because the Broncos have to wait for 30 other picks to be made before they are on the clock officially, it’s fair to wonder which guys will or will not be there.
The team is certainly going to cover all bases.
Among the other first round prospects they have had in Denver includes Donte Moncrief, Kyle Fuller, and Scott Crichton.
I have written this offseason that Shazier’s fit in Denver is a perfect one, and I maintain that assertion. His most obvious asset is sub-4.4 speed but that is not the only top skill Shazier boasts. He is a three-down linebacker who could even be an asset on special teams in the NFL early in his career, and I think he has the ability to play inside linebacker in the Broncos’ defense, which is constantly changing personnel groupings.
The thing with Shazier to me is, he is one of the best linebackers in this draft at making plays behind the line of scrimmage. Because he’s not 250 pounds, teams aren’t going to view him as an every down 3-4 outside linebacker so like I said, a non-pass rushing outside linebacker without the resume of a Luke Kuechly or the physical skill set of a Patrick Willis isn’t probably going in the top 20 picks.
Just ask Lavonte David, who has had a pretty darn good start to his NFL career.