As the NFL Draft approaches, the Arizona Cardinals are closely examining possible players that they can select with the 20th overall pick.
When it comes to draft strategies, Cardinals’ play-by-play voice Dave Pasch told Doug and Wolf of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that he is in favor of drafting a pass rusher.
Pasch said his focus is on Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, a 6-foot-1 237 pound linebacker, and that his playing style already reminds him of a current Cardinal.
“I really like him [Shazier],” Pasch said. “I talked to [Ohio State coach Urban Meyer] about Shazier and I think he’s going to go to the draft with Shazier. They are very close and he loves him as a person and as a player. He’s a very productive player. He reminds me a little bit of Daryl Washington. He may be a better pass rusher than Washington because you really can play him at outside linebacker and he can hold up in the run game even though maybe he’s a little bit undersized. I think he can play inside and outside.”
Shazier finished his three-year career as a Buckeye with 45.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks, while his 315 career tackles are the 15th most in school history. He also clocked an unofficial 4.36 40-yard dash at his pro day.
Pasch says Shazier is a suitable fit for Arizona, but barring a trade, 19 other players will be picked before their selection, meaning he could be gone before the Cardinals are on the clock.
“Personally, I hope he is there at 20,” Pasch said. “I think he’d be a great fit for the Cardinals because we lose Dansby and you don’t know Daryl Washington’s status for the beginning of the year. Can Kevin Minter step in right away and start for you? You hope that’s the case, but the Cardinals need a pass rusher. John Abraham is getting older and guys like Sam Acho are role players. I think Shazier has a chance to be an excellent NFL pass rusher.”