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D.J. Reed Is Going To Fight To Be A Team’s Starting Slot CB And Also Offers Some Return Ability

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

Kansas State v TCU Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

D.J. Reed, CB
School: Kansas State | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 188 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th Round or 6th Round
NFL Comparison: Corn Elder

College Statistics

Player Overview

D.J. Reed didn't receive any offers to play college football coming out of high school from Division I schools. Rather than play for any Division II school Reed enrolled and walked onto Fresno State’s football program. He took a redshirt his freshman year and thought he could use that time on the sidelines to train and learn the system. Fresno State viewed him as a special teams player while Reed thought he was ready to play corner. He transferred to Cerritos Community College and played for two years there before transferring again and getting his chance at Kansas State. Two things are obvious with Reed: first, is that he is undersized and will likely be limited to a slot role in the NFL, second is that his attitude, willingness to work, and the way he plays the game will get him somewhere in the league. Reed has had a harder path to recognition than other prospects and plays with a chip on his shoulder, he has an incredible motor and plays with a lot of effort and heart. He plays bigger than his size indicates and has no hangups about covering bigger receivers or coming up to help in run support. Reed has some return experience and ought to be able to contribute to a team there while he competes for a nickel role.

Strengths

  • Scrappy attitude and player who brings his passion on every play and will compete on every snap. He is willing to work where other players might quit or relax. Will do what is asked of him and he has an outstanding motor.
  • Coverage skills need refinement but are there. He competes at the catch point and will fight for the ball and has the production to back it up. Hands are decent too and he's gotten some impressive interceptions.
  • Consistent and reliable tackler who will stick his nose in and wrap up.
  • Offers value on special teams.

Weaknesses

  • Short for the position and likely limited as a slot corner.
  • Height can limit him even with his athletic profile he has short arms and even with decent verticle jump numbers passes could be floated over him.
  • Panics when he can’t see the ball and tried to grab and lock up the receivers arm. Doesn’t turn his head at times and can cause PI.
  • Backpedal and bail and other coverage techniques can be refined - he can get beat with the initial burst and speed of a receiver and has to recover fast. Additionally, I’d like to see him jam at the LOS more to slow down receivers initially.

Let's see his work:

More D.J. Reed videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Reed is another player who is hard to pin down in this draft. The draft projections I’ve seen of him range from the 3rd round to the 6th round. Ultimately I think Reed goes at some point on day 3 of the draft because he is undersized without an exceptional athletic profile. The team that selects him will get a good value not only in the skills that Reed brings to the defense and special teams but with his attitude that he’ll bring to the team. He was praised at Kansas State for being a hard worker on the field and dedicating his time off the field to get better. Regarding the Redskins, Reed should be in direct competition with Josh Holsey for the slot corner job. Holsey has better size and is also a hardworking and tenacious player but Reed may offer slightly better value because of his coverage and ball skills paired with the value he could bring to special teams as a return or as a coverage guy. I would worry slightly about Reed being able to stick with speedy receivers on more complex routes in the slot especially in the division withNelson Agholor and Sterling Shepard based on athleticism but his recovery skills have helped him so much to this point that I think working with an NFL defensive backs coach on his technique would help him a lot. Reed should also be tried out as a returner on the team. I think his floor is a solid and effective returner and his ceiling is a starting caliber slot corner at least for a couple seasons.