Summary: There were high expectations for Reid in 2012. Entering the season many believed that he was ready for a huge year and was a potential top-15 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Those expectations were largely based on a strong 2011 season that saw Reid standout in a secondary comprised of elite defenders.
Consider the other members of that secondary: cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy finalist; Brandon Taylor was an underrated safety who ended up being a top-100 pick and Morris Claiborne was the best cover corner in the nation before being selected with the sixth-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. With those players around him, Reid had a breakout 2011 season. Mathieu and Reid tied for the team lead with 76 tackles each. Reid also had two interceptions, two tackles for a loss, three passes broken up and two forced fumbles. He was a Second-Team All-SEC pick.
Helping to fuel the high expectations were massive games against Alabama. In the first contest versus the Crimson Tide, Reid was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week as he recorded six tackles with a goal line interception and forced fumble. The sophomore followed that up with 11 tackles in the rematch.
Reid was asked to do more this year with Claiborne, Taylor and Mathieu having all moved on from LSU. As a result, Reid was exposed. The junior's pass coverage was just bad. He was routinely beaten for big plays through the air and was a liability in pass coverage all year.
Reid started 2012 with a mixed outing against North Texas. He had seven tackles, an interception and a pass broken up, but also was burned for two touchdowns. Reid struggled in run support versus Florida and took some bad angles with weak tackling attempts. He played better against South Carolina and Texas A&M with a mixed outing against Alabama.
Reid had a bowl performance to close out his collegiate career that was a microcosm for his overall game. He had some hard hits and nice tackles, but was burned in pass coverage. Reid totaled 91 tackles, seven passes broken up, two interceptions and zero forced fumbles in 2012.
As a player, Reid should've gone back to school and improved his pass coverage before going pro. That decision has worked out for players like former Alabama safety Mark Barron and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. They both improved their pass coverage as seniors which sent their draft stocks skyrocketing.
Reid is strictly a strong safety for the NFL until he gets better in pass coverage. Reid will be a good run-defender who can fit as the eighth man in the box. He doesn't have the ability to play man coverage on a slot receiver or a skilled tight end, or defend the deep part of the field. Whichever team Reid lands with will have to protect him in pass coverage. He may be a backup and rotational safety to start out his professional career while he develops his pass coverage.
The NFL is a passing-driven league so that is a horrible weakness for Reid to have. It could cause a draft day fall. Right now, he looks like a second-round pick, but falling to the third round isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Player Comparison: LaRon Landry Reid's game resembles Landry more than anybody else, but Landry is much better in pass coverage. Like Landry, Reid is a hard hitter who is a good run-defender. Both players are physical and never shy away from contact. Landry was a high first-rounder, while Reid looks to be a second-day pick.
NFL Matches: Kansas City, Carolina, New York Jets, Cincinnati, Washington, Indianapolis
There are a few teams that could target Reid on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft. Kansas City needs a complement to Eric Berry and Reid would offer a nice physical element to go with Berry.
The Panthers' safety play was abysmal this season. Reid could probably start for Carolina quickly so he could be an option for them in the second round. The Jets may not be able to re-sign Landry and Yeremiah Bell, so Reid could be a replacement for one of those veterans.
The Bengals need a complement to Reggie Nelson, and Reid could play strong safety with him at free safety. Washington's biggest need could be at safety and its defensive backs overall. Reid could definitely be in play for the Redskins second- or third-round pick.
If Reid falls into the third-round, the Colts could grab him. They are without their second-round pick but need to improve the play of their safeties. Reid would bring a needed physical presence to the back end of Indianapolis' defense.