San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive back D.J. Reed has one of the best back stories of his year’s draft class. He walked on at Fresno State and practiced under a coaching staff that didn’t seem to see much future for the “undersized” defender. Reed decided to change directions and attend Cerritos College, where he lived with seven roommates in a two bedroom apartment.
Reed proved himself to be a valuable commodity and after several offers, chose Kansas State where he stood out enough for NFL scouts to take notice. In two seasons he recorded 125 total tackles, 103 solo tackles, 25 pass break ups, three forced fumbles, seven interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
The 49ers drafted Reed in the fifth round with the 142nd overall pick.
- Age: 21
- Experience: rookie
- Height: 5’8
- Weight: 188
- 40-yard dash: 4.51
- Bench press: 11 reps
- Vertical: 36.5
Reed is on a four year rookie contract. His 2018 salary will be $557,843.
What to expect in 2018
Reed quietly worked with both the second and third teams throughout OTAs and mandatory minicamp. He defended the likes of Kendrick Bourne, Victor Bolden and Dante Pettis without any major mishaps. He also took part in returning punts and kick offs with Trent Taylor out after having a procedure on his back.
The 49ers secondary is young but very talented. So much so that Jimmie Ward could be a back up at any and all of the secondary positions. Ahkello Witherspoon looks to be the starter opposite of Richard Sherman if the veteran’s return from Achilles surgery goes according to schedule. Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert appear to be locks at strong and free safety. Where does that leave Reed?
Odds of making the team
“I’m 5’9 but I play corner like I’m 6’3,” is what Reed explains in his draft hype video. He has a huge chip on his shoulder from his college days and is known to be a grinder. How Reed does during training camp and the preseason will define what the 2018 status will be for the rookie, but long term he has huge potential. The risk of placing him on the practice squad is that he could be poached by another team in need. In the meantime he will have to beat out the likes of K’Waun Williams, Tyvis Powell, and third round pick Tarvarius Moore, to name a few.