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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scouting Report: Eric Reid, Safety, LSU


Scouting Reports On: Phillip Thomas -- Matt Elam -- Damontre Moore -- Bjoern Werner

          The Detroit Lions head into the 2013 off-season with many holes along their defensive. Safety is one of the key spots they must address. Strong Safety Louis Delmas is a dynamic player when on the field, but the inability to stay healthy is a concern moving forward. Same goes with Free Safety Amari Spievy, who was lost for the season with a concussion, but unlike Delmas, Spievey has yet to show much potential since switching to safety during his rookie season. Likewise, veteran Erik Coleman was ineffective in spot duty and Ricardo Silva is still growing in the system as a youngster.

          Jim Schwartz previously talked about having players with divers skill sets, allowing them to play in various spots on the field. Thimas Dimitroff, Atlanta Falcons general manager mentioned this as well when he spoke with Steve Wyche of NFL.com.

        "Ideally, we'd like to get to a situation where you have interchangeable safeties," said Dimitroff, whose expertise as a college scout was evaluating defensive backs. "Maybe one guy is the strong safety, but you can flip it. Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed, those guys are great football players who set the benchmark. It's not easy to find those guys year in and year out, but those are the type of guys that we are ultimately looking for at the safety position."

        It is certain that safety is a position Detroit will bring fresh blood into, one way or another. I have looked at film and evaluated each of the safety's the Lions will have a chance at come draft day. I discounted Baccari Rambo due to my hunch that Martin Mayhew will shy away from multiple drug related altercations, which ultimately landed Rambo a four game suspension before the season.

Eric Reid

Strengths: Reid is big, standing 6'2 and weighing 212 pounds, and uses that size to his advantage. He is a hard hitter and uses his long arms to bat down balls. He is best in zone coverage manning the middle of the field. Reid is as durable as they come, missing only one game due to injury in his three seasons at LSU. Matches up well with tight ends using his size and jumping ability in the red zone.

Weaknesses: Reid struggles in man coverage. He doesn't have the straight-line speed to handle shift backs or slot receivers. He takes poor angles far too often and struggles occasionally with open field tackling. Reid seems stiff at times and his hips aren't as fluid as you'd like. Takes a lot of false steps off the line which allows receivers to beat him vertically at will. 

Overview: Reid came into this season riding off the hype he had last season apart of an all-star secondary, that featured 6th overall pick Morris Claiborne and fellow draftee Brandon Taylor along with Tyrone Mathieu. Widely considered a top 15 draft pick, Reid has seen his stock plummet the past month. He has become the definition of a tweener safety, decent in run support and  solid in zone defense but isn't great at either. With more and more defenses looking for safety's to cover backs and receivers, I would shy away from Reid if I were the Lions.

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