With the NFL Draft just a few weeks away, one of the Denver Broncos‘ main focus in the draft will be on defense. The team has done an impressive job with addressing some of those needs in free agency. Now as the mindset of the front office shifts to the draft, the team knows that linebacker is one of the biggest needs in order for this team to compete at an even higher level. I think the Broncos should use their first-round pick on Ryan Shazier.
The 6-foot-1 junior out of Ohio State could be that player the team has been looking for. While he decided to forgo his senior year to play football at the professional level, he brings a lot to the table. His ability to get to the quarterback is quite remarkable. He can attack from the outside, which would make him a great player opposite Von Miller to help close in and create a lot of pressure.
The key element to Shazier’s game is his ability to close in and use his speed. Having the ability to stop the runner or cause a sack is a trait that the Broncos could use, especially how they saw it being used against them when they faced the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. A relentless player who never gives up on the ball, this is quite a talented player who the Broncos cannot afford to lose out on.
Of course with every player, they have their weaknesses and Shazier is no different. He is quite small because of his frame and has a difficult time shredding through the line of scrimmage. While he is a hard hitter, he has the tendency to cause unnecessary penalties from late hits, which can cost a team. As long as he can work on that, this is one player who has tremendous abilities.
This hard-hitting and pressure-creating linebacker could be the solution the Broncos need in order to bring back that “Orange Crush” defense the team was once known for.