Pro Day Tour '14: Lightning-Fast LB

The Packers saw two big-time linebacker prospects, including Ohio State's Ryan Shazier, during Friday's pro days. Shazier and cornerback Bradley Roby could be in play when the Packers are on the clock in the first round.

Two days ago, Packer Report asked an NFL scout to throw out a few possibilities of who the Packers might wind up drafting in the first round.

If the Packers re-sign cornerback Sam Shields, the scout tossed out a couple of names. One of the those was Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, a name absent in most media pundits' first-round mock drafts and big boards.

Shazier will be moving up those media mocks in a hurry. He reportedly ran his 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at Ohio State's pro day on Friday. A scout said that time would be revised to about 4.46 due to Ohio State's fast track. Either way, that's shockingly fast for a linebacker.

Shazier (6-1, 237) didn't run at the Scouting Combine because of a sore hamstring, although he did post a 42-inch vertical jump and 26 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Shazier tweaked the hamstring again during Friday's 40, but not before he added a significant chunk of change to his signing bonus.

"I'm not really concerned about it because I was trying to rush it back so I can run for everybody, and they were telling me I shouldn't rush things," Shazier told reporters. "I knew I wanted to run a 4.4, around there in that range, and I got what I wanted."

Shazier entered the draft following a junior season of 134 tackles, six sacks, 22.5 tackles for losses and four forced fumbles. His 20-tackle game against Indiana was Ohio State's first since A.J. Hawk's against Wisconsin in 2004. Even though Shazier started just three games as a true freshman and played three seasons, he finished his career ranked 15th in school history with 306 tackles and sixth with 201 solo tackles and 44.5 tackles for losses.

Cornerback Bradley Roby (5-11, 194) stuck with his Combine numbers of 4.39 in the 40 with a 38.5-inch vertical. For all the talk of tall corners, Shields, Tramon Williams and Casey Hayward are all 5-foot-11. So, he'd seem to fit the Packers' mold and could be in play at No. 21 if Shields departs.

"He looked very fluid and athletic in position drills, like he did at the Combine," said a scout.

The Packers are loaded at offensive tackle, so it would appear they'd have no need for Jack Mewhort, who is considered a second-round prospect. However, he did some work at center — which could become a position of need, depending on Evan Dietrich-Smith's free-agent fate. Also working out was the Buckeyes' center for the past two seasons, Corey Linsley. Linsley (6-3, 296), who was first-team all-Big Ten as a senior, put up 36 reps on the bench at the Combine.

Arizona State

The interesting player from a Green Bay perspective is Carl Bradford, who ranked fourth nationally with 40.5 tackles for losses over his final two seasons. Bradford (6-1, 250) was listed as a defensive lineman at the Scouting Combine, where he ran in 4.76 seconds with a 37.5-inch vertical and 23 reps on the bench. In reality, Bradford played defensive end, outside linebacker and inside linebacker for the Sun Devils. For Green Bay, which wants to be multiple on defense, Bradford's ability to play any of the linebacker spots would be intriguing. Scouts have even asked about him playing fullback, he said on Friday after improving his 40 time to 4.64. He's a second-round possibility.

Defensive lineman Will Sutton (6-0, 297), whose father, Mickey, briefly played for the Packers, is another interesting case. If the Packers indeed are looking for a leaner, meaner defensive line, he certainly could be an option if available in the second round. As a 267-pound junior, he piled up 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses. As a 305-pound senior, he tallied four sacks and 13.5 TFLs. He was the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Year both seasons. He lopped about two-tenths of a second off of his slugging 5.36 from the Combine.

Running back Marion Grice (6-0, 208) was limited to position drills due to a broken fibula sustained late last season. Evan Finkenberg (6-4, 298), a four-year starter at left tackle and first-team all-conference selection as a senior, has the ability to move inside. That has been the Packers' line-building method for the last several years.

Northern Illinois

We got varying reports on whether the Packers were in attendance to watch standout safety Jimmie Ward.

Ward intercepted seven passes as a senior, then proved his production wasn't because of small-school competition by having a strong week at the Senior Bowl. Ward was sidelined for the Scouting Combine with a small fracture in his right foot and will need surgery. Still, he showed his speed to scouts by running in 4.45 with a 38-inch vertical and excelled in position drills, according to a source. Ward told the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs that it's a six- to eight-week recovery following surgery. On that timeline, he should be healthy for the draft and offseason workouts.

The Huskies' other intriguing prospect is prolific dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch. Lynch (6-0, 217) ran in 4.76 at the Combine and improved to as fast as 4.65, according to a source. The question is, what position does he play? Can he play quarterback? He was 53-of-60 with improved velocity at the workout, according to the source. Can he play running back? He impressed scouts with his vision during drills at the Combine. Can he play safety? He impressed at least one scout by doing those drills on Friday.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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