Reed Blankenship, S
School: Middle Tennessee State | Conference: Conference USA
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6’1” / 200 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 3-6
Reed Blankenship was a standout basketball and football player coming of out high school in Tennessee. In his freshman year at Middle Tennessee State he played well enough to earn All Conference Honorable Mention, playing in all 13 games and starting 9 of them. During his sophomore year, he earned first team All Conference USA honors, leading the defense with 107 tackles. He also collected 8 TFLs, 4 INTs, and 7 pass break ups.
In 2019, Blankenship was voted team captain, but suffered a broken leg midway through the season. Nevertheless, he received Second Team All Conference USA honors, leading the defense, and collecting two blocked kicks on special teams. His senior season, he again led the team in tackles and snaps played and was again named team captain. He was also named to Bruce Feldman’s “College Football Freaks” list in the Athletic:
Freakiest attribute: Explosiveness
NFL scouts really like how fluid Blankenship is in his movement on the back end of the defense. The 6-1, 196-pound senior made 58 tackles, two INTs and blocked two kicks last season in seven games and earned second-team All-Conference USA honors. Blankenship has displayed plenty of athleticism in the MTSU strength program as well, vertical jumping 38 inches and broad-jumping 10 feet to go with a 4.5 40.
- Has a relentless motor.
- Hard hitting tackler.
- Has the tracking ability to play free safety.
- Great athlete and good speed.
- Plays with good anticipation and football IQ.
- Lower level competition.
- Needs to improve play in man coverage.
- Has had some injury issues in the past.
Let’s See His Work
An intriguing Day 3 option at safety would be #MTSU S Reed Blankenship. Dude has some RANGE man, he plays this double post combo beautifully.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) February 6, 2021
Carries the slot post and nearly makes an interception on the outside skinny post.
I know my guy @DanteCollinelli is a big fan if his. pic.twitter.com/M2vQTbZs3E
How He Would Fit
I think that many Washington fans, while satisfied that the team has plenty of depth at strong safety - with Cam Kurl and Landon Collins - have concerns about the quality of play at the free safety position. The reality though is, both Deshazor Everett and Jeremy Reaves played the position pretty well at times in 2020.
Nevertheless, the team should always be looking to improve and add depth, and Blankenship seems to hit that sweet spot of “reasonable draft investment” and “potential playmaker upside” such that he should be given a long look in April. If the team decides to pursue Moehrig, or Holland, or Grant early in the draft, Blankenship probably drops off the radar, but if the team focuses on OT, LB, or WR earlier in the draft, he could be a tantalizingly talented option on Day 3.
Where would you consider drafting Reed Blankenship?
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