5 best performances by Steelers players at the NFL Combine
By Shayne Kubas
Steelers retired LB Ryan Shazier, 2014
Ryan Shazier was selected 15th overall in 2014 out of Ohio State after a monster junior campaign. Going into the combine it was expected that he would put together a big performance, but his decision to wait until his pro day to run the 40 due to a minor injury dampened the hype a bit. He made up for it by posting the top vertical among all players with a 42’ leap, as well as a top-10 finish in the bench press, (25 reps) 3-cone (6.91), and shuttle (4.21) among linebackers.
After his dominant display at the combine, he followed it up with a great pro-day workout that included an unofficial 4.36 40. That type of speed at over 230lbs is nearly unheard of, and it showed up on film. Unfortunately, the speed and violence he played with may have been his downfall. Despite playing well to start his career, he missed 14 games in his first three seasons with multiple injuries.
During his 4th season, on what looked like a routine tackle attempt against the Bengals, Shazier sustained a spinal cord injury that would end his career. As sad as it was for fans across the league, what matters is that he was able to walk again after spinal surgery.
He has since gone on to write a book, start a charity and help tell other inspiring stories through UPMC’S 50 phenoms series. He may not have had the long career he and fans were hoping for, but his impact will be felt for years to come.