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Scouting report on 49ers CB D.J. Reed

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Today we take a closer look at the 49ers fifth round selection of the 2018 NFL Draft, D.J. Reed.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

We are back with another scouting report featuring another member of the 49ers 2018 draft class. Today, the spotlight is on cornerback D.J. Reed out of Kansas State. Since the conclusion of last season there was a lot of talk and discussions about the 49ers upgrading the cornerback position. Last year the team drafted Ahkello Witherspoon out of Colorado. In Free Agency the 49ers made a splash signing long time rival Richard Sherman. Last month, the 49ers selected D.J. Reed in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In today’s scouting report we will discuss Reed’s strengths and weaknesses as well as how he can be a great fit in the 49ers defense. Just because Reed was a day three pick doesn’t mean he can’t make a big contribution this upcoming season…and I don’t mean just on defense. Let’s find out why.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Measureables

Name: D.J. Reed
School: Kansas State
Position: Cornerback
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 188 lbs.
Arms: 31 5/8”
Hands: 10”
Bench Press: 11 Reps
40 Yard Dash: 4.51
Vertical Jump: 36.5”

Film

Below are video clips of D.J. Reed in action:

PROS

  • Fluid and natural runner through his hips.
  • Plays physical and disrupts the pass catcher within the route and on initial passes.
  • Has strong football instincts and coordination anticipating where the play is going to occur.
  • Quick to wrap his opponent and finish tackles.
  • Tackles with ease in the open field in one-to-one situations. Often will not allow yards after the catch.
  • Reliable and valuable return specialist returning multiple touchdowns in his collegiate career.
  • Quick feet and cuts to elude oncoming defenders on special teams.
  • Strong initial burst who can stretch the field and create open space on special teams.
  • Dual-threat vision as both a defender in the slot and as a return specialist on special teams.
  • Plays with a tremendous amount of confidence and belief. Works hard to improve his game.

CONS

  • Undersized for his position and will be mostly limited to the slot position.
  • Can get out-boxed by taller and more physical receivers.
  • His long speed is questionable and inconsistent.
  • Could be a liability with 50/50 balls and tight ends in the middle of the field.
NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Summary

There is dual threat value with D.J. Reed. He is going to bring value to the corner slot position on defense, as well as a return specialist. The more value a rookie can bring to his team the better chance he can contribute and see the field. I expect Reed will have an impact in his rookie season. Maybe more so on special teams than on defense, however games are won and lost on special teams all the time. Reed can prove to make a positive difference in this department in the 2018 season.

I do have concerns about his size and his ability to matchup with the more physical receivers at the next level. Reed will need to continue to be a physical presence on the field and continue to develop and execute techniques that will make him successful in this defensive scheme. Reed is a hard worker and is filled to the brim with confidence. With time, Reed will not only be a contributor on special teams but also make contributions as a slot corner. It will be fun to see him continue to grown and develop at the next level. He has a great mentor in Richard Sherman to guide him along the way. Reed could emerge as one of the best value picks in the last handful of years.

What are YOUR thoughts on D.J. Reed? How many touchdowns will Reed have on special teams this season? Will he make an impact as a slot corner on defense this season? Please share in the comments below!