Summary: The Stanford defense has featured many good NFL prospects in recent years. The majority of them have been on the defensive line, but the Cardinal has had talent in the secondary. Reynolds was one of the top safeties in college football in 2012 before regressing in 2013. He had another year he could have played in college, but he made a bad decision to move on to the NFL - unless he was worried he would be beaten out for a starting spot next fall.
Reynolds really played well for Stanford in 2012. He had six interceptions with five passes broken up and 37 tackles. It was his first season as a starter. He covered a lot of ground in the back end, and what really stood out were his instincts to make impact plays.
Reynolds' play dipped in 2013. He started the season in impressive fashion with 12 tackles and an interception against San Jose State. That turned out to be his only pick of the season, however. He had a clutch pass break-up to finish off a win over Oregon State. Reynolds then had a bad outing against Arizona State as he was beaten for two touchdowns and ejected from the game for targeting. Sun Devil receiver Jaelen Strong really gave Reynolds problems. Reynolds had a number of mixed games this past season, as he finished with 87 tackles, one interception and four passes broken up.
Reynolds is a developmental project as a mid-round pick. He has some natural free safety abilities with ball skills and range. However, he needs to get better about his discipline and not taking false steps or poor angles. Reynolds also has to get better with his tackling and run support. The Stanford front seven didn't need their safeties to be big run defenders, but Reynolds should improve his game there.
If Reynolds lands in a good situation with strong coaching he could develop into a starter. Reynolds will have to show signs of improvement and contribute on special teams while he works his way onto the field.
Player Comparison: Chris Conte. Conte (6-2, 203) is similar size to Reynolds and both of them are better suited to a free safety role. They can cover ground, but also are prone to some broken coverage and missed tackles. They both are inconsistent. Conte was a third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and Reynolds looks like a mid-rounder this May.
NFL Matches: Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, Green Bay, San Francisco, Arizona
There are several teams that could consider Reynolds on the second day or third day of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Eagles have a hole at safety, and Chip Kelly showed a tendency last year to draft players from collegiate rivals. Reynolds would fit that and he could cover some ground for Philadelphia.
The Rams also need a long-term safety to pair with T.J. McDonald. Their safety play was a big weakness in their defense in 2013. Reynolds would be a free safety with McDonald at strong safety.
Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said that improving the safety position would be a goal of the offseason. Reynolds and Matt Elam could form a nice tandem if the Ravens can straighten out Reynolds.
The Bears could look for an upgrade over Chris Conte and Major Wright. Reynolds would fit Mel Tucker's defense well.
The safety position was a weakness for the Packers last year. They need to find a partner to go with Morgan Burnett. Reynolds somewhat fits their type of defensive back, as they prefer longer and rangy athletes with ball skills.
San Francisco could use a long-term replacement to Donte Whitner. Reynolds could complement Eric Reid well. Arizona got a good season out of Yeremiah Bell last year, but it will need to get a long-term starter.
Come on Walt. You have the Vikings drafting for need. They did a fairly good job if FA filling needs. I could see the RB in the second because thats value. The only needs they have are at dt and safety. I hope they pick highest rated player.