As we’re all starting to realize, the 2013 NFL draft is all about the defenders. From the line backwards, this is more than a deep draft on the defensive side of the ball. One such position that includes a bunch of excellent talents is the safety position.
When trying to see what kind of safety can be separated from the chaff you must look at physical talents. Of course he has to be able to knock the ball down, but let’s be honest – it’s about speed, vertical jumping and athleticism.
One player who is well beyond all the others in this regard is Eric Reid.
The junior out of LSU is an athletic beast – his father was an All-American Hurdler and NCAA champ, so he’s got the genes. But Reid Jr. has also proven himself in his own right.
As proof, Reid absolutely rocked the competition in the combine.
He was the top performer in the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump AND the broad jump. 4.53 in the 40 is solid, as is 134 inches in the broad jump.
But the real kicker is the vertical jump – 40.5 inches AND he’s 6’1”. That’s a seriously potent combination.
It’s not often that you have a player on the tall side who has insane hops combined with intense speed. That’s the recipe for success in the safety position.
Unfortunately for Reid, he’s sometimes too athletic. Possibly for his own good. Once Reid can handle his awesome physical skills and not over pursue balls down the sidelines, he will be an excellent NFL talent.
Reid comes out of a very strong football program in LSU where he started every game as a junior – kind of a big deal – and he played very well for them too. He’s a physical beast with skills, an intense work ethic and proven success on a top-notch team. That sounds pretty good to me.
Currently, NFL.com has Reid as the third best safety prospect but is only predicting him to be drafted late in the first round.
In my opinion, the way the draft is looking so far, if Reid really is the third best safety out there (and I think he could be even better than 3rd), he’s going to go much higher than 26th overall. Teams who realize what talents he possesses will want to snatch him up soon. Or maybe he’ll slide to the Texans at 27th and their backfield will be patrolled by safeties named Ed Reed and Eric Reid – that’s a wicked strategy.
Come draft day, look out for this guy or he’ll run right past you and down the sidelines to intercept balls for the team that’s playing your team.