Saints Draft

Saints need OLB Ryan Shazier with 27th Pick

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Oct 6, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) celebrates in the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not often that you get to a redo in the NFL Draft, but that appears to be the case here with Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. Last year, the Saints passed on linebacker Jarvis Jones from Georgia in favor of safety Kenny Vaccaro from Texas.The Saints are in need of a good blitzing linebacker and Ryan Shazier plays with the same intensity and tenacity as Jarvis Jones did in Georgia.

The past two seasons he has led the Buckeyes defense in tackles. A feat only achieved by former Buckeyes James Laurinaitis, AJ Hawk, Pepper Johnson, and Chris Spielman. After reviewing his college tape, NFL Films ‘ Greg Cosell said Shazier was a “unbelievable, sudden quick-twitch athlete.”

Rob Ryan would love to add that quick twitch to cement a defense that drastically improved last season. Shazier can certainly get after the quarterback with a 4.38 40 time. He also can be moved around in the defense as he has seen time at middle linebacker, defensive end, and  outside linebacker for the Buckeyes.

According to, Shazier plays with good instincts, an explosive first step, and is the ultimate-team first player. Outside of a lean build and lacking strength to shed blocks at the next level in the NFL, scouts believe he has the ability to be a productive linebacker along the lines of Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David or San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman.