Mar 28, 2016, 12:53 PM EDT
Redskins draft countdown
The NFL draft is 31 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how he might fit in Washington.
40-yard dash: 5.21
Projected draft round: 1
What they’re saying
Country strong with tree trunks for thighs and long arms, Reed is a classic two-gap run-stuffer stout enough to play inside at defensive tackle or outside at end. At 6-3, 311 pounds, Reed has the girth and strength to line up virtually anywhere along the defensive line, making him a fit for 3-4 and 4-3 teams, alike.
How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins were one of the worst teams in the NFL when it came to defending the run. Forget about the regular season stats; when the playoffs rolled around the Packers’ running game (141 yards) was just as responsible for beating the Redskins as was Aaron Rodgers.
As noted in the evaluation above, Reed could line up just about anywhere along the line and create problems for any team trying to run the ball. Here he uses excellent technique against the Georgia tackle and creates a logjam that completely kills the play.
Potential issues: Reed didn’t demonstrate much ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He had just one sack and 4.5 tackles for a loss starting 14 games on a dominant defense. At Alabama he was mostly a two-down player. Scot McCloughan may prefer a player who has demonstrated better ability to get to the passer and may be hesitant to spend his first-round pick on a player who comes off of the field on third down.
Bottom line: Can Reed be taught to rush the passer? He has good fundamentals in the run game and the coaching staff on the NFL team that ends up with him will spend a lot of time trying to teach him how to shed blocks and get after the quarterback. It’s likely that he’ll never be really good at it but if he can get to the point where he can get three or four sacks a year that might be good enough to make it worth his run-stuffing ability.
Depending on how important that is to McCloughan, Reed could well be in the mix of linemen the Redskins will consider at pick No. 21 along with his Crimson Tide teammate A’Shawn Robinson, Andrew Billings of Baylor, and Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss.
Despite his limitations, Reed is not likely to get out of the first round. As you get later in the first round, teams that advanced in the playoffs may be happy to take a lineman who can do one thing well.
In his own words
On why he didn’t record many sacks:
It was the system we played in. Run-first, then-covert-to-pass system, but I did apply pressure on the quarterback. I definitely hit the quarterback, I definitely got sacks, too.
Previously in Redskins draft countdown:
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