While straight-line speed is overrated in the NFL, that's not Shazier's only asset. When healthy, the 23-year-old linebacker is a tackling machine with sideline-to-sideline quickness.
Lost in the muck at the end of the Steelers-Bengals wild-card spat was Shazier's ridiculous game. Perhaps the best performance by a non-pass rushing linebacker all last year, Shazier compiled 13 tackles, two passes defensed and two forced fumbles -- including the final turnover that provided Pittsburgh the chance to win. Shazier was all over the field the entire game.
Entering his third season, the linebacker could leap into the All-Pro discussion. First he must stay healthy. The 6-foot-1 playmaker missed seven games as a rookie and four last season due to injury.
Shazier's brand of speed and tackling ability make him the cornerstone of the latest iteration of the Steelers' defense.