2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Justin Reid

  • Justin Reid, 6-0/207

  • Safety

  • Stanford

  • Justin Reid Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Excellent fit as a strong safety for current NFL
  • Instinctive
  • Fast defender
  • Movement skills
  • Has coverage skills against big receivers along the sideline
  • Lined up in man vs slot receivers, but needs work
  • Can play man coverage on receiving tight ends
  • Reliable in zone coverage
  • Ball skills
  • Can serve as the eighth man in the box
  • Well-rounded defender
  • Decisive
  • Tracks the ball well
  • Quality tackler
  • Good blitzer
  • Interchangeable safety; can play free or strong

  • Weaknesses:
  • Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none
  • Got picked on as a nickelback
  • Deep speed gives him problems
  • Not a true single-high free safety
  • Does not have a great feel for routes
  • A tad undersized

  • Summary: Being the younger brother of NFL safety Eric Reid set up Justin Reid with a head start for a NFL career. Reid turned into a quality safety for Stanford over the past couple of seasons and enters the NFL as a well-rounded player who can contribute in both phases.

    Reid was a backup as a freshman, totaling 23 tackles with an interception. Reid improved in 2016, recording 57 tackles with seven breakups. As a junior, Reid took his game to another level and was especially good in the first half of the season. For 2017, he notched 99 tackles with six passes broken up and five interceptions. Midway through the year, some team sources said they thought Reid could be a first-round pick like his older brother, but after some rough tapes to close out the season, Justin Reid was being projected to the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft when he decided to skip his senior year. Reid then showed impressive speed at the NFL Scouting Combine, ripped off a 4.40-second time in the 40-yard dash.

    In the ground game, Reid is a physical safety who can function well as the eighth man in the box. He is a reliable tackler and willing to take on any back. While Reid is a tad undersized, he could play some as the eighth man in the box.

    In pass coverage, Reid is reliable in zone. He covers ground well and is adept at picking up receivers who come into his area. Reid has some coverage ability with movement skills, but he does not have great feel for routes. During the 2017 season, the Cardinal used Reid as a slot cornerback, and there were times when he looked okay there. However, USC proved that Stanford overestimated Reid’s coverage ability, as the Trojans sought Reid out and exploited him for a lot of big plays, especially in the Pac-12 Championship Game. In the NFL, Reid should not be used as a nickel/slot cornerback. He is better suited to play man coverage against tight ends or helping against big wide receivers along the sideline.

    Teams like interchangeable safeties who can execute both strong and free safety. Some schemes require that, flipping responsibilities pre-snap to make it hard for quarterbacks to know where defenders will move and what they will be responsible for. Reid may not be exceptional in run defense or pass coverage, but he is a solid and sound player with the ability to contribute as both a strong and free safety.

    In the 2018 NFL Draft, Reid is likely to be a second-round pick. He has a very slim chance of sneaking into late in the first round, and he should not fall lower than the third round.

    Player Comparison: Eric Reid. The obvious comparison is fitting. Justin Reid is a little bit smaller than his older brother Eric, but both of them are quality athletes with a combination of size, speed and intelligence. Eric Reid had an excellent debut with the 49ers when he was on a loaded defense, but he didn’t become a star in the NFL and is a solid, but unspectacular safety, who can contribute in pass coverage as well as run defense. Justin Reid will probably become a similar player in the NFL.

    NFL Matches: Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas, Carolina, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Washington, Tennessee and New England

    In the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, there are a lot of potential landing spots for Reid. The Colts have a trio of second-round picks, and Reid could form a talented young tandem with Malik Hooker.

    Tampa Bay could use a safety upgrade next to Justin Evans. Reid could be a nice addition to improve one of the more vulnerable pass defenses in the NFL.

    There has been some talk of the Patriots drafting a safety in the early rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, and Reid would be a nice fit in New England’s defense. He could be a good fit for the Patriots’ high second-round pick that they got from the 49ers.

    Cincinnati has shown interest in adding more talent at safety, and Reid could interest the Bengals. Washington could consider looking for a safety upgrade, too. The position isn’t a screaming need, but Reid could be in play for the Redskins if he’s the best player available.

    Los Angeles would make a lot of sense for Reid. The Chargers have had a hole at safety since Eric Weddle departed in free agency. Reid would give them a versatile defender on the back end of their defense.

    Dallas also is in need of a safety upgrade after losing Barry Church in free agency. Reid would be a nice fit for Rod Marinelli’s scheme.

    Carolina could target Reid in the second round. The Panthers’ safeties are ancient and need to be upgraded. The team also has shown interest in Reid, hosting him on a pre-draft visit.

    The Titans have one good safety in Kevin Byard, but Johnathan Cyprien was a disappointment. Reid could be an upgrade and form an excellent tandem with Byard. Tennessee has hosted Reid on a pre-draft visit as well.


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