In among draft’s most dramatic moments, Ryan Shazier walks to podium
Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who suffered a spinal cord injury last season, walked to the podium at AT&T Stadium Thursday night to announce the Steelers’ No. 1 draft choice.
Accompanied by his fiancee, Michelle Rodriguez, it was a dramatic display of Shazier’s recovery only four months after he suffered the injury making a tackle against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
“You saw Ryan Shazier take some very inspirational steps,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said before he addressed the selection of Virgina Tech safety Terrell Edmunds. “That’s a huge lift for, not only him, but for us.
“To see where he has come from to where he is and knowing where he might be able to go, it’s beyond inspirational. It’s just exciting for him.”
Colbert said Shazier has set goals for himself and he reached one Thursday.
“When he was ready to walk, he was going to make that determination.” Colbert said. “It was a goal of his.
“Since he’s been working with us in the draft preparation, we thought that would be a good opportunity. It was up to him. He did great. It’s amazing.”
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) April 27, 2018
“Really proud of those two and what they were able to do in terms of representing us,” coach Mike Tomlin said of Shazier and Rodriguez.
Shazier, who will not play this season, was a No. 1 pick himself in 2014. He has not ruled out eventually resuming his football career.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.