A Safety is one of the Patriots needs, and one such person that caught my eye was Safety Eric Reid. Reid plays in the SEC, faces very good competition, and is considered a 2nd rounder according to CSB.
Eric Reid, SS/FS LSU
Weight: 212 lbs.
40 Time: 4.59 (pre-combine. He looks faster than that).
He has ideal height and weight for the position. I will be using both CBS Draft and NFL.com this time to provide overviews and draft profiles, as well as looking over the stats and level of competition. Then, I will put up some video to reflect what the analysis of the profiles and stats say, and we can get a glimpse of Reid playing individual games as well as taking some notes on them.
- 91 total tackles (42 solo). Has more assisted tackles than solo, but coud mean that he is involved a lot in many plays. Could describe his range, and that he would give it his all on every play. It can also mean that he is an inconsistant tackler himself (though still, 91 total is a lot for a Safety).
- Only had less than 5 tackles 2/13 games. Which is awesome. Had OVER 5 tackles 10/13 games. If you are like me, than you would think that 5 tackles is a good amount for any player on defense. The fact that he gets over that 10/13 games is amazing imo. 3/13 games he had 10 tackles or more. on average, he has about 7 tackles per game.
- 5/13 games he played against ranked teams. These are: Florida (9), South Carolina (8), Texas A&M (5), Alabama (1), and Clemson (11). Against these teams, he accumulated 41 total tackles out of 91. Two of these games (Clemson and Texas A&M) he had accumulated 10 or more tackles. However, only one of these games (Florida) he had more solo tackles than assisted. So he does very well in terms of tackles against good competition (and great). He seems to do better against the rankes teams.
- The most solo tackles Reid made was 6, which he only got to twice. For the most part, he averages about 3.23 solo tackles per game, and 3.77 assisted tackles per game (which in terms of total tackles, it's about 7 tackles per game).
- 2012 season was his best year for tackles. Improving every year he has been at LSU in this department.
- Only 1 tackle for loss........... it was against Auburn. What can this mean? Perhaps he doesn't blitz often, or for the fact that the DL with Montgomery and Mingo he doesn't always have a chance to make that good play in the backfield. Perhaps I am just making excuses for him too... It can mean that he is typically in coverage. Also, with the amount of tackles that he has, who knows if he makes most of his tackles before the guy gets even 5 yards. The videos will be telling here.
- Historically too though, if you look at his 2011 and 2010 seasons, he doesn't get many tackles for loss at all.
- Has 7 passes broken up. Has at least 1 pass breakup in 6/13 games.
- Only 2 of the pass breakups came against ranked teams (Clemson and Texas A&M).
- Had no forced fumbles in 2012, but had 2 in 2011. He has the ability with his big hits, and seeming range on the field.
- Only has 2 INTs in 2012. In fact, he has not snatched up more than 2 INTs in his career at LSU. What can this mean?I think it could mean that QBs typically don't throw in Reid's direction.
- Had an INT against North Texas and South Carolina.
- Judging from the stats, I think he seems like the Jerod Mayo of the secondary. He has really good range to get tackles all around the field, has vision (you have to have really good vision to get that many tackles after all, and that amount of passes defended).
- He seems like he has a commanding presence in the secondary not only for his physicality, but I believe he knows how to set up audibles and put the secondary in better positions to make plays. Looking at the stats here, the LSU Tigers give up an average of 206 yards per game (56 completion percentage. Really good here) in the 2012 season. Only 60/254 completions to go 15+ yards on the team last season. Overall, the guy who calls the audibles is normally the Safety, and I believe could be the Jerod May of the secondary, which would be amazing.
- He seems consistent in 2012 at least. He gets a lot of tackles, and seems to have a presence on the field in both the pass and run game.
LSU has been especially strong in producing defensive backs to the NFL, with Reid entering his junior season every bit as highly regarded as former top six picks Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne and LaRon Landry.
Reid, the son of a former three-time All-American (1984-87) sprinter for LSU with the same name, signed with the Tigers as a highly regarded prep prospect and immediately made an impact, playing in all 13 games and earning starts in the final three regular season contests. He posted 32 tackles, including a tackle for loss and demonstrated the ability to make big plays in big games immediately, snaring his two interceptions against the likes of Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) and Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M) in the Cotton Bowl.
Reid was even more dynamic in his second season as LSU's starting free safety, tying Tyrann Mathieu with the team lead in tackles (76), including 53 solo stops. He also registered two tackles for loss, two forced fumbles (one recovered) and two interceptions (Tennessee, Alabama). Reid's interception against Alabama came at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, preserving the 6-6 tie that eventually led to LSU's overtime victory.
The play was characterized by ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit as the top defensive play of the 2011 regular season and Reid was recognized as the SEC's and Bronko Nagurski Trophy's Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Tide (six tackles, one for loss, forced fumble, INT).
Though he was named a member of the First Team All-SEC team in 2012, Reid wasn't as flashy in what turned out to be his final season in Baton Rouge. He collected 91 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions on the season.
While his talent and tools scream top 32 pick, Reid displayed some maddening inconsistency in 2012. He has a tendency to be too aggressive, biting on misdirection when playing in the box, and that intensity has also led to an alarming amount of penalties for late hits and pass interference.
Strengths: Possesses the prototypical frame for the position, boasting wide shoulders, long arms and a tapered frame. Reid is a fantastic downhill athlete with quick read-and-react ability to attack the play with steam spurting from his ears. He might be the explosive hitter from the safety position in the 2013 draft, closing with the speed and physicality of a linebacker rather than a defensive back.
Possesses the size and athleticism combination teams are desperate to find to counter the hybrid receiver/tight ends taking over the seams. Doesn't possess top flexibility but accelerates surprisingly well for his length and has good straight-line speed, overall. Physical with receivers downfield and plays 50-50 balls well, using his size and strength to his advantage.
Weaknesses: Reid's biggest strength is also his greatest weakness. He plays with nonstop aggressiveness and intensity, but he doesn't always control that hostility in a smart way on the football field. He throws his body around and might be the most violent striker in the SEC, but if Reid doesn't learn how to play smarter and harness his fierce playing style then he'll have a tough time making a living in the NFL.
He is a bit stiff in coverage and can be beaten by quicker slot receivers. Has been protected by some awfully talented cornerbacks throughout his career and wasn't the playmaker in 2012 he had been the past two seasons with Claiborne and Mathieu no longer on the roster.
Compares To: LaRon Landry, FS, New York Jets -- Reid signed with LSU patterning his game after the former Tigers' standout and it shows in his physique and bone-jarring hits. Of concern to scouts is the fact that Reid, like Landry, is a bit stiff and not as fast on the field in deep coverage as he may test during workouts.
It was a no-brainer for Reid, a highly-touted national recruit with an excellent academic record, to commit to LSU. His father is in the school’s athletic hall of fame as an All-American hurdler, winning the NCAA championship in the 110-meter hurdles as a senior in 1987. Eric Reid, Sr. still works on the LSU campus, so his son got to know the facilities and team’s coaches quite well growing up.
That familiarity bred early success for Reid, as he played in all 13 games, got crucial playing time against Alabama (six tackles, one for loss) and got starts in the final three regular season games. And though he didn’t start the team’s bowl win over Texas A&M, he still came through with seven stops and an interception. As a sophomore, Reid started all 12 games in which he played, leaving the Ole Miss game and missing the Arkansas contest with a thigh injury. His team-leading 76 tackles, two interceptions, three pass break-ups and two forced fumbles on the year earned him second-team All-SEC honors from league media. Reid continued that momentum into 2012, starting every game while compiling 91 total tackles. He added seven pass breakups to go with two interceptions.
Tall, long safety with a solid overall build that is still getting stronger. All-around defender who can play the run and pass. Flashes excellent closing speed, pummels receivers after the catch when coming downhill and can get into the backfield if smelling out the play after the snap. Has length and attitude to wrap up ballcarriers in the open field. Brings power into cut tackles, lowering his shoulder to stop running backs cold. Also lays the wood over the middle, putting a shoulder into their midsection. Gets physical with receivers attempting to block him in the run game. Has athleticism to handle tight ends in the passing game. Possesses the height, vertical and competitive nature to win jump balls. Good enough hands to take advantage of poor throws, will undercut receivers and can catch the ball away from his frame.
Gets overaggressive at times; will jump on short crossers, opening up the back half of the field, and overrun stretch plays to allow cutback lanes. Not a consistently powerful tackler, and will lunge and miss in the open field as he often fails to break down quickly. Recovery speed will be questioned, might be tough for him to catch NFL receivers if he takes a false step or in the aid of a teammate. Had shoulder surgery after his junior season in high school, though it hasn’t hurt him in college.
The next SEC safety on which scouts have their eye, Reid brings the size, athleticism, intelligence and toughness to become an impact player in coverage (14 passes defended in the last two seasons) as well as against the run (91 total tackles) at the next level. The junior can get too overaggressive with his angles, but if Reid can rein in the athleticism, he has plenty of range to make plays all over the field.
- It seems the concerns are more towards his tackling. Which is strange, considering the amount of tackles he produced in 2012. Though in 2011 his tackles were significantly less than in 2012. Also, his tackling in 2012 was better than Mark Barron's (who ended up really good).
- Another concern here I suppose is that he is overaggressive at times, and because of the talented CBs that he had, he finds himself probably over-pursuing in play action and some running plays.
- But lets not just focus on the negatives here. He has all the physical skill sets, and more, you want in a safety.
- He can play the run and pass very well, and has room to improve every part of his game, as well as improve his strength and quickness.
- Is a physical DB. We have needed physicality at the Safety position since Harrison left. Big hits are a good thing (as long as they don't bring in penalties) for secondaries, as they bring a natural toughness and inspiration to the other guys to play very tough and hard, as well as let the receivers know that they will get hit (which can have them think twice going over the middle trying to make a catch). This also means he won't get run over by RBs, and when he goes in to tackle guys, they will be tackled.
- Has the range you want in a safety, and appears to know how to command a secondary, even with talented CBs. And agan, Only 60/254 completions to go 15+ yards on the team last season.
Eric Reid vs South Carolina 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)
- He works through traffic well. Won't get caught up in blocks either.
- Really good burst. Looks to have good tackling technique.
- Doesn't look as effective as a single high safety. Looks more like a traditional safety, that can also play in the box.
- Plays fast and aggressive.
- Typically takes away the short-medium routes well and forces the QB to look elsewhere (which also gives the defense more time to get to the QB).
Eric Reid vs Texas A&M 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)
- Seems to make good reads quickly.
- Cleans up after blown coverages well.
- At 1:15 seconds, although he did not get to the RB, it's telling that he at least took out two blockers. Someone else should have been there with him. Highly unlikely that he would have made a big play in that situation. Everyone else got faked but him.
- Needs a tad more discipline. Two hits in here that should have been penalties (one a DPI, and the other Unnecessary Roughness).
- Still seems to know how to work through blocks, and even tackle well.
- Yeah he seems to do better in a traditional safety role, that can play in the box as well. In the single high safety spot, he seems to typically play cleanup after a blown coverage. Maybe that's what he is supposed to do though, but I feel like he has more playmaking ability outside of that spot.
Eric Reid 2012-2013 Highlights (via comingsoon702)
We are a top 10 run defense right now. I think we can be a top 5 run defense with Reid.
- If we have Reid play a traditional FS, that can go in the box, than with his aggressive style, ability to work through blocks, plays fast and has really good strength, he can upgrade our run defense to the top 5. He doesn't get run over, and seems to read plays quickly, and more often than not he makes the right read. He can certainly make plays in the middle of the field at least and is involved in a lot of tackles in general. With a high amount of tackles statistically, his physicality, vision (how quickly he can make reads) and range, i think he can do this.
How much will our secondary improve with Reid?
- Outside of the single-high safety role, I think he can make the impact in our passing defense. Our biggest issue at first was deep coverage, and he has shown in the vids and statistically that he can certainly help our deep passing defense (and pairing him next to McCourty is nice to think about). Also our middle pass defense where we seem to have a hard time defending the medium routes, I believe Reid can help this as well. Look at the vids, and how the majority of his tackles was underneath, and how he seems to have a knack for just taking away the short/medium throws according to the vids (if the team has him play as an in-the-box safety).
- We will likely have him playing zone in our defense, and I think he has good enough vision and smarts to succeed in our system, and be a physical presence that this secondary needs.
Why do we need a Safety?
- Chung is a free agent and will likely not get signed. Tavon Wilson has shown some promise as a 3rd safety, but as a starter he showed some rookie mistakes that we don't know if he will get better at. Ebner we have no idea about, other than a couple bad plays by him.
- We don't have anyone physical back there, and it's important to have that not only for identity, but to also be feared by the WRs against the secondary.
- We need someone better than Gregory next to McCourty in the secondary. He is inconsistent, brings no identity in the pass or run game, and seems to be a James Sanders type who can give you a decent performance, and a couple of good plays.
- Eric Weddle, Barron, and LaRon Landry are all good player comparisons that Reid can become. Judging b College, Reid won't get consistently over 3-5+ INTs, but he will get a lot of tackles, and many passes defended into the NFL. With the right training, I think Reid can even potentially be an elite player in the realm of Adrian Wilson/Dashon Goldson like.
- The worst possible potential that I can think of is Michael Huff. A guy who could start, but is nothing special by any means. Does enough to stay on the team type of guy. Don't think he will be a bust though. Huff has decent production, and I think that is Reid's low. A guy who can only get decent production.
If we get Reid, I would be happy. Though if we don't, and instead get someone else in free agency before then, or smply go with the guys we have, than I will be fine too. But I think in terms of addressing the Safety need through the draft, I think Reid may be our best bet.