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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings draft prospect microscope: Stanford S Justin Reid

By Matthew Coller

As we lead up to the NFL Draft here at 1500ESPN, we will take a closer look at the prospects who could end up as Minnesota Vikings. For this edition, we focus on Stanford safety Justin Reid.

Why the Vikings could draft Justin Reid:

While the Vikings have their eyes on offensive linemen, if an exceptional defensive back happened to be available at No. 30, they could pull the trigger and wait until the second round to pick up a starting guard. Reid ranks as Mel Kiper’s 15th best prospect, but has routinely been mocked in the bottom of the first round. As a versatile DB with terrific athleticism and playmaking ability, Reid could compete for a job at nickel corner in his rookie year and eventually take over the starting safety job.

What experts are saying:

ESPN’s Mel Kiper:

“Reid is rising after the combine, where he tested well athletically and ran a 4.40 40. I thought he was more likely a Day 2 pick going in, but now there’s a good chance he’ll be a first-round pick. And when you put on the tape, Reid pops. He had a phenomenal 2017 season, intercepting five passes with 99 total tackles and six tackles for loss. He can play in the box. He can play as a deep safety. Reid (6-foot, 207 pounds), the younger brother of free-agent safety Eric Reid, has been underrated throughout this draft process. He’s a solid prospect.”

NFL.com draft profile:

“Reid is what teams are looking for at the safety position in 2018. He’s a plus size/speed prospect who has the athletic ability to help with man coverage and the instincts and ball skills for ball-hawking duties on the back end. Reid can get himself into some trouble when he’s overly aggressive, but his positive plays far outweigh the negative. He has the talent to become an early starter and a good one. Reid’s instincts and play traits should make him a safe selection with Pro Bowl potential down the road.”

Pro Football Focus:

While the flash plays will keep teams intrigued, Reid has a few areas to clean up in his game. His athleticism shows up on the field, from pure movement skills to high-pointing interceptions, but he’ll also get lost down the field and give up too many big plays against the run. Reid played a challenging role covering slot receivers, something he should likely only do on occasion at the next level. He has the skills to play in the box or on the back end, but must clean up some of the big plays he surrendered in college.”

What the numbers say:

The Stanford standout picked off five passes in 2017. According to PFF, on throws into Reid’s coverage, he allowed 29 catches on 50 attempts. Of those 50 throws, 38 came while Reid was lined up in the slot. Despite his listing as a safety, he played the nickel corner role on 247 total snaps.

While experts are high on his potential, Reid’s Pro Football Focus grades are underwhelming in nearly every area except making big plays in the passing game.

At the NFL Combine, Reid was one of the most impressive safeties. His 4.4 40-yard dash was elite among safeties and opens the door to him playing a nickel role or being a chess piece that can be moved around depending on the situation.

Bottom line:

There appears to be a large gap between how PFF and the rest of the scouting world views Reid, which is cause for some concern, but his ceiling is a dynamic, game-changing player in the secondary. With the Vikings short on depth at both corner and safety and Andrew Sendejo into his 30s, there is reason to draft an exciting safety to continue restocking the league’s top defense.

Watch Justin Reid:

The post Vikings draft prospect microscope: Stanford S Justin Reid appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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