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Ryan Shazier compares himself to two Pro Bowl linebackers

Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier weighed-in at the NFL Scouting Combine, and also participated in some of the events. But he didn't run the 40 or do the drills because of a hamstring issue, and that makes his March 7 pro day all the more intriguing.

Shazier measured 6-foot-1 and 237 pounds at the combine, an inch shorter but seven pounds heavier than he was listed at Ohio State. The added weight certainly didn't hurt in the vertical jump -- a super-impressive 42 inches, the best of any athlete at the event. He also had a 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump, which was sixth-best among all the players. That a linebacker put up those kind of numbers is eye-opening.

Also eye-opening are Shazier's reference points.

"I feel I compare to (Tampa Bay's) Lavonte David or (San Francisco's) NaVorro Bowman," Shazier told USA Today. "My favorite player right now is (San Francisco's) Patrick Willis, but I feel like my game favors Lavonte David a lot. ... I just feel I'm a very versatile player. Whatever a coach wants me to be, I can do."

That Shazier compares himself to three of the best linebackers in the NFL shows he has big-time self-confidence to go along with his athleticism.

He also brings a truckload of production with him. He finished third nationally in 2013 with 144 tackles, and he was tied for second with 23.5 tackles for loss. He also had seven sacks and four forced fumbles. That means in the past two seasons, he had 269 tackles, 40.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and seven forced fumbles.

As with David, Shazier is from south Florida; David is from Miami and Shazier from Fort Lauderdale. Both have been questioned about their size; Shazier played some safety in high school at 210 pounds and some colleges worried about his lack of size at linebacker. Shazier also knows about life in the NFL: His dad, Vernon, is the team chaplain for the Miami Dolphins.

Shazier generally is considered one of the top four linebackers overall and the third-best outside linebacker, behind Buffalo's Khalil Mack (another Floridian) and UCLA's Anthony Barr. His pro day workout will go a long way in determining how early he goes in the draft.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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