Prospect: Eric Reid, FS, Louisiana State
Grade: 7.5 (Grading Scale)
+Tall and long safety prospect.
+Reid is a smooth and fluid athlete who can change directions quickly and without limitations.
+He exhibits a good burst when closing in on ball carrier and can explode through his tackles. +
Has long arms and uses those to extend his catch radius and to bat down a number of balls.
+Reid has shown a good vertical leap, out jumping receivers for 50-50 balls.
+Has the frame to add more muscle to without limiting his athleticism.
-Exhibits more build up speed than quick acceleration.
-Isn’t a burner, will run around a 4.55-4.60 forty, but it doesn’t limit him due to his impressive instincts and fluidity in coverage.
+When in coverage Reid displays outstanding instincts with the ability to read and react to a throw or route quickly.
+Does a great job of reading the QB and closing the gap between ball/receiver.
+Closes quickly and is a physical presence when in tight coverage.
+Reid has been used as a single high safety where he is asked to play center-field.
+Much better coming forward and attacking underneath routes than turning and running vertically with receivers.
+Can open his hips laterally and get from the hash to the sideline.
+Reid has the size and fluidity to excel in zone coverages, but he can cover tight ends over the middle of the field.
+With his ability to deliver big hits and intimidate he offers some traits of a strong safety, but has the cover skills and range of a free safety.
+Has plus instincts, once he sense the play developing he breaks hard and does a good job at meeting the receiver at the point the ball arrives.
-Top end speed will limit his ability to run with faster receivers down field.
-His man cover skills aren’t great but, will use his size, length and physicality to be a tough match up for smaller receivers.
+At 6’2″ 210 pounds Reid has the potential to be a physical downhill force.
+Definitely not afraid to throw his body around and tries to make the big hit.
+Recognizes run/pass quickly and shows the same solid closing burst vs. the run.
+Reid often likes to lay a hit into the pile once the ball carrier is wrapped up.
+Has the potential to develop into a much better run defender over time. He can fill the run lane and with his instincts can sniff out misdirection and reverses.
+Led the team in tackles as a Sophomore with 76 and finished his Junior season with 91.
-Can be more under-control as a tackler and wrap up better.
-Takes aggressive angles, often succeeding, but over-runs too many plays.
-Will dive at the legs a lot and that leads to missed tackles.
+Has the ability to cover a lot of range due to his instincts and has shown he can out physical a receiver for the deep ball.
+As a deep safety he does a good job of diagnosing the underneath routes and which one to take.
+Gets over top to provide safety help and is usually at the proper depth.
+Very rarely caught out of position, always seems to be flowing in the right direction.
+Fluid transitions out of his stance especially coming forward, but takes a couple steps to get to top speed.
-Hasn’t made a ton of plays on the ball over the past three seasons.
-Technique when tackling needs improvement.
+Reid has the instincts and coverage skills to succeed in a number of different coverages.
+He also has the size and power to play a hybrid strong safety with his big and intimidating hits.
+Has often been compared to former top draft pick LaRon Landry.
+Intelligent player, can diagnose what the offense is trying to do.
+Reid is a very hard worker both on an off the field.
+Named an honorable mention to the All-SEC academic team as a Junior and carries a 3.2 GPA.
+Working towards a degree in Business Management.
+No off the field problems to speak of.
Overall, Reid’s combination of size, instincts, athleticism and physicality make him one of the top safeties available in April’s draft. He possesses enough coverage skills to play a traditional Free Safety position with range, read/react instincts and closing burst to be a impact defender. He’s a very smart and instinctive defender in coverage and piles up a lot of tackles by reading his keys quickly. He comes downhill aggressively, laying big hits on receivers and making his presence known.
He has the size and length to be a physical defender in coverage and will be able to match up vs. tight ends and physical receivers in the middle of the field. If he learns to harness some of his aggressiveness, keep his angles under control and form tackle better he could be the complete package. With all that being said Reid is likely to be a top 40 selection and will be one of the top three safeties off the board in the 2013 draft.