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Introduction

When evaluating Crimson Tide talent you must factor in that they are surrounded by blue chip prospects on their very own team. This class is no exception as Reed’s teammates DT A’Shawn Robinson, ILB Reggie Ragland and CB Cyrus Jones all figure to be early round picks. Reed is still easy to find on film as he is usually pushing offensive lineman into the backfield. Reed is extremely powerful and he has shown enough versatility to play all along the defensive line. His IDP stock is certainly not boiling over. He will require constant attention from a blocker and chipper. He is certainly pro ready but his ceiling to dominant statistics is not elite in nature.

Combine Results

40 yard dash – 5.21 second

Vertical Jump – 31 inches

Broad Jump – 104 inches

3-cone Drill – 7.77 seconds

20 yard shuttle – 4.75 seconds

His testing numbers have no ooh-la-la result going for them. Also having no bench press to report is odd. But, without question the tale of tape shows Reed to be a punishing run stopper. He routinely takes on double and triple teams. Basically, the bench would prove nothing that the film has not already confirmed.



Analysis

Size: Reed checks in at 6’3″ and 307 LBS. which is a perfect size to be an interior disturbance. His hulking/thick chest will make those around more productive. His anchoring thighs will stop plays dead.

Pass Rush: This might be Reed’s biggest flaw. He is a pit-bull in the trenches. Yet, he is not full of pass-rushing tricks. He is not an edge bender or a quick first stepper. If his pro team has legitimate outside threat Reed will not whiff if a QB steps up and into the pocket.

Run Defense: Reed practically smells when the ball is in his area. His ability to release and attack is uncanny. You will even see him make a tackle with one arm and occupy a blocker with the other. This will be his strength and he will make opposing guards question their job security. The scheme fit will play a very little role in determining how effective Reed can continue to be as a run defender. Opponents should pray he is asked to be a 3-4 DE because at the very least he could end up facing left tackles a majority of the time.

Athleticism: Reed will not wow you with much athletically. It seems he is no where near the freak his teammate A’Shawn Robinson is who appears exceptionally gifted for an interior player. Yet, Reed outperformed Robinson in some of the combine drills. One impressive trait was Reed’s 31 inch vertical, which was five inches better than Robinson’s the who is one inch taller. The only true interior defensive lineman to top Reed were Javon Hargrave (South Carolina St.) and Sheldon Rankins (Louisville) who both jumped 34.5 inches. Reed also nipped Robinson in the three-cone and the basically ran the same 40-time as well as the same 20 yard shuttle.

Tackling: Reed attacks the ball carrier with his strong hands. He will also collapse his lower half to burden the runner with his body mass and bring them down. His film also shows many instances of Reed being double teamed at the line of scrimmage then releasing and cutting down the runner angularly. His ability to bite and swallow up the play at such a high success rate will help him stay on the field.

NFL Draft Projections

The 2016 defensive tackle class might be the deepest ever. Reed does have an advantage over most as he could also flourish at 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DE or at the 0 or 1 technique especially with his ability to take on double teams. He will likely go in the late first or early to mid second round.

Buffalo seems smitten with Reed and they have also taken a long look at the controversial Ole Miss DL man Robert Nkemdiche. It’s apparent that DL versatility is something Buffalo is looking for early in this 2016 draft. The Bills even had dinner with Reed last week. In Buffalo Reed could easily slide past former sixth round pick/seven year vet Jarius Wynn at LDE. Wynn has only started seven games in his NFL career and has 53 tackles and 10.5 sacks in his whole career. Reed could obviously do some in-game swapping with RDE Jerry Hughes and wear down both offensive tackles in the process. His interior capabilities would also be big huge in short yardage or goal line sets. Can you imagine Reed lined up at nose with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus on either side of him!

After losing Damon Harrison to the other Gotham team the Jets will probably pray Reed slips into round two. They are also shopping Mo Wilkerson very aggressively so do not be surprised if he is traded during the day one festivities. Both moves could mean Reed would be paired with 2015 first round pick Leonard Williams. That would be a devastating combo with Reed absorbing two offensive lineman and Williams getting after the QB. In the Jets 3-4 scheme Reed could slide all over the place and be an effective run defender while doing so. Mississippi State’s DT Chris Jones could be a nice consolation prize for the Jets in round two.

San Diego is another team folding their hands for Reed in round two. The Chargers need someone else besides Cory Liuget to nut up in their 3-4. No matter which one of three DL positions you slate Reed at he would occupy enough blockers for ILBs Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o to elevate their games. Reed would be an immediate plug and play in the Charger scheme.

In Houston Reed would be surrounded by some definite talent. He could kick inside or fill Jared Crick’s role (left via free agency) opposite JJ Watt. While it seems like a deadly fit, Reed would not have to be productive for this blueprint to thrive. Jadaveon Clowney owners should they be so lucky will be Reed’s biggest fans. If he settles in at NT his run stuffing could yield some quality tackle volume.

Fantasy Outlook/Conclusion

Typically defensive tackles do not hold much fantasy value unless you are in DT required leagues. Reed will be a handy option in such a league earlier than most. Some leagues reward DTs more heavily DEs to counterbalance their appeal. Reed can be one of those DTs that approaches the 50 tackle mark annually. Do not get discouraged if he does not as rookie. He will create a solid foundational floor. The sack production will be sporadic even if he plays DE. Although he plays like Reggie White he is not a dynamic or creative or speedy pass rusher. Reed’s run defense will earn him stripes and dynasty ownership shares. With this already being the strength of his game you can count on more consistent production.