The fact is not only does the Eric Reid signing put Colin Jones back on the bench, it’s an upgrade at the position. First let’s take a look at the Panthers safety position season to date grades. Unfortunately my PFF account doesn’t let me look back at prior seasons grades or else I would tell you how Reid graded out for the 2017 season. I’m assuming it was pretty good from a grade perspective though not a Pro Bowl season.
You can see with the loss of Da’Norris Searcy it put Colin Jones on the field a lot. We know Jones can fill a role for the Panthers, just not a starters role. I’m hopeful that Reid will not only fill Searcy’s role but even represent an upgrade, particularly in coverage.
Looking at the grades for the entire Panthers defense you see that when in their base defense the Panthers that the Panthers still have two other weak points.
Linebacker David Mayo will return to the bench in Week 6 when Thomas Davis comes off of suspension, so we have no worries there. The other concern is at defensive end across from Mario Addison. Wes Horton is currently grading at 42.3. Ron Rivera has stated he wants to see more snaps from Julius Peppers. I like the thought of that. Here’s the defensive end grades which includes snap counts.
I hope we see some leveling this in Week 5 between Peppers and Horton and of course, more Efe Obada. By the way, something seems off with the Horton grade as both of his run and pass grades are higher than the average. I don’t see that for a single other player. Maybe it’s a typo?
To recap, while the Panthers defense has had two good games and one not so good they are still a top-10 unit who added a very good player to their weakest position. I’m excited to see how Reid meshes with the defense against the Giants next Sunday.