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49ers sign fifth round pick D.J. Reed

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He has a chance to make an early impact in the secondary.

The San Francisco 49ers have signed the fifth of their nine draft picks. The team announced on Friday that fifth round pick D.J. Reed, a defensive back out of Kansas State, has signed his four-year rookie contract.

Rookie contracts are not a huge deal anymore with the rookie wage scale. Draft picks get a four year contract, with only first round picks getting a fifth year option. We’ll find out specifics in the coming weeks, but Over The Cap projects the pick contracts, and has Reed earning a signing bonus of $311,372, and then earning the league minimum each of the four years of the deal.

Reed will initially compete with K’Waun Williams for the nickel role, as well as some special teams work. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein included Reed in his list of potential impact rookies from later rounds. Zierlein had this to say about the small but confident defensive back:

Reed is on the shorter side for a cornerback at 5-foot-9 1/8, but he’s well-built and extremely feisty when challenging the catch. He has the talent, confidence and ball skills to compete with K’Waun Williams for slot corner reps. His ability as a punt and kick returner help his chances of exceeding expectations.

The 49ers signed Williams to a three-year contract extension last fall. They’ve shown a willingness to move on from signings fairly quickly, but Williams is a guy they brought in on their own and then subsequently extended on their own. This isn’t quite the same as Jeremy Kerley or Daniel Kilgore. But if Reed impresses, the team has the cap space to take the dead money, so I’d say all bets are off.