The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up the 2018 season and they have begun their work to prepare for 2019 free agency and the NFL draft. The coaches and scouts are back from a week in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl, but there is plenty more to be done as they get ready to build on a disappointing 2018 campaign. We’ll be breaking down plenty of what that means, but in the meantime, we wanted to take a look back at the season that was for the 49ers.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury sent things south, but there is plenty still to assess. We are going to take a look at every notable addition and provide a forum for grading how that signing, trade, or draft pick worked out.
D.J. Reed, defensive back
How acquired: Drafted in the fifth round (142nd overall)
The 49ers invested quite a bit in the secondary last offseason, and D.J. Reed emerged as one of the more intriguing options. It took injuries to get him into the starting lineup, but once there, he impressed as a versatile option.
Reed opened the season as a special teams player, returning kicks and getting some work in at a variety of other special teams roles. In Week 3, Adrian Colbert hurt his hip and Reed took over at free safety for that game and through Weeks 4 and 5. Colbert returned in Week 6, but then suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 7 and went on injured reserve.
Jimmie Ward moved from cornerback to free safety after Colbert went on IR, but after three weeks, Ward got hurt and ended up on IR himself. There was a lot of back-and-forth as the 49ers went through eight different safety combinations. Reed got some free safety work over the back half of the season, but spent the majority of his defensive snaps as the nickel back. K’Waun Williams suffered a knee injury and that gave Reed a chance at his more natural slot corner role.
Reed did not secure consistent playing time the entire season, but he got a chance to show his versatility. The 49ers have cap space and draft picks to further invest in the secondary, but Reed would seem to have secured a chance to compete for a significant role. He could eventually replace Williams, but in the meantime, he has a chance to develop into a super-sub role — not too shabby for a fifth round pick.
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How do you grade the D.J. Reed draft pick?
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