We’ve heard a lot of names associated with the Philadelphia Eagles in the 36 years or so that have passed between the end of the NFL season and next week’s 2014 NFL Draft.
Brandin Cooks. Kelvin Benjamin. Kyle Fuller. C.J. Mosley. Etc.
I’ve taken a lot of looks at player ratings, player rankings, mock drafts, projections, and whatever else I could find to occupy my time as we wait and wait for the NFL Draft to finally arrive. In just about every one of those the same name keeps popping up around the 22nd pick, right when Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly will make their selection.
Is this their guy? He very well may be.
Shazier isn’t flashy, nor is he the kind of name that’s been on our radar for the last few months. But he is a skilled player and he would fill a need on the Eagles’ defense.
According to ESPN, Shazier is the second-best outside linebacker available and No. 23 athlete overall. He stands just a hair over 6-feet-1-inches tall and weighs 237 pounds, a frame that’s slightly undersized for his position. In fact, his profile notes he “works hard to put on weight but struggles to do so and can’t seem to keep it on.”
Sports science, anyone?
“He’s a natural playmaker and has a nose for the ball,” ESPN notes, while at the same time knocking him for taking risks and lacking “elite” instincts.
One thing Shazier does have is speed, noted as a “sideline-to-sideline player that can stalk and chase backs down from behind.” He “closes very quickly and flashes ability to deliver big hit.” “Can run with most backs and tight ends.” “…has improved instincts to accompany very good initial burst, violent hands and excellent closing speed to QB.”
Shazier is a player with loads of potential and may have the kinds of skills the Eagles are looking for in a player to get after opposing quarterbacks. He has an explosive step and isn’t afraid to throw his body around.
And he’s very likely to be around when they pick at No. 22.
There have been a lot of interesting names thrown around. Shazier might not be the most interesting of them all, but he could end up being the name called at No. 22.