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2018 NFL Draft: Film room scouting report on Stanford safety Justin Reid

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The Panthers need to address the safety position this offseason. Is Stanford’s safety prospect Justin Reid the solution to their problem?

NCAA Football: UCLA at Stanford Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Background

Justin Reid is the younger brother of San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid. He was a four star recruit according to Scout and 247Sports. Reid was a productive player for the Cardinal during his three year stint. He was a member of the All Pac-12 first team, Pac-12 All-Academic second team, and an AP All-America second team.

Film Breakdown

Reid primarily lined up in the slot for Stanford, so there will be a projection for him to transition into a safety. Reid is a phenomenal athlete though. His SPARQ score landed him in the 95th percentile. While there is undoubtedly a projection for any player, Reid shows natural ball skills that could make his transition to a true safety role smooth.

This interception highlights Reid’s athleticism and ball skills. The throw is underthrown, but Reid reacts to the corner route by flipping his hips and high pointing the ball.

Both of these pass deflections underscore Reid’s strong man coverage skills. He times the deflections perfectly, which allow him to play through the ball. Outside of his movement skills, Reid also demonstrates his strength against bigger receivers such as tight ends. He was a versatile defender for David Shaw’s unit, but he possessed the complete package.

Reid is an aggressive player too, but he plays controlled. He’s not making reckless hits on receivers (cough Mike Mitchell cough). These two plays feature his physicality, IQ, and instincts. Reid diagnoses the bubble screen before the snap and then disrupts the pass attempt with his physicality. The second video displays Reid’s smarts in zone coverage. As the flat defender, he roves off his assignment to lay a legal hit on the receiver.

Reid proved to be adept at carrying vertical routes downfield. Stanford is in cover 1 on both of these throws. Reid is in man coverage in the slot. While he could do a better job of finding the ball, Reid did a fine job of staying on the inside hip of the receiver.

Reid’s aggressiveness can cost him at inopportune times too. Stanford is playing a triangle coverage in the red zone, which means the slot corner has to play a “slide” technique so he can have eyes on the ball. He reacted too quick, which gave the receiver the entire end zone.

Reid held his own in the slot, but he did not fare well against USC’s Deontay Burnett. In fairness, Burnett is one of the best slot receiver prospects in this class. With that said, a few deficiencies are on display in these two clips. On the first clip, Reid does a poor job of identifying Burnett’s route. He can get caught off balance when a receiver sells a route inside. The coverage was fine in the second clip, but Reid gambles. The gamble didn’t pay off as Burnett is able to gain loads of yards after the catch.

Finally, Reid is going to be entrusted to make one on one tackles wherever he lines up. Reid takes a poor angle and then gets stiffed armed by the tight end. He has to pursue tackles from better angles.

Grade and fit with Carolina

In an effort to get younger and faster in the secondary, the Panthers recently parted ways with Kurt Coleman. Justin Reid is an ideal replacement from a coverage standpoint. His primary role was to act as a nickel defender in Stanford’s scheme. Reid’s man coverage skills translate well into a true safety role. He has fluid hips, understands multiple zone concepts, and is a ball hawk. Reid has to temper his aggressiveness and clean up his pursuit angles, but he would be a great fit in Eric Washington’s defense.

Games watched

2017 vs USC

2017 vs USC

2017 vs TCU

Grading system

  • 95+: HOF talent
  • 90-94.99: Future All Pro
  • 80-89.99: Future Pro Bowler
  • 70-79.99: Day one starter
  • 60-69.99: Potential year one starter/year two potential starter
  • 55-59.99: Potential to make a roster
  • 54.99 lower: Training Camp/depth player

My final grade for Reid is 78.50, which amounts to a day one starter.

What about you, Panthers fans? Do you think the Panthers should draft Justin Reid?

Poll

Should the Panthers draft safety Justin Reid?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Yes
    (239 votes)
  • 4%
    No
    (17 votes)
  • 30%
    Maybe
    (115 votes)
371 votes total Vote Now