2014 NFL Draft Prospect: Ed Reynolds

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We continue breaking down 2014 NFL Draft prospects at Turn On The Jets, sticking with the free safety group. Next up is Stanford’s Ed Reynolds, a two year starter for “Nerd Nation.” Reynolds has begun to stir up the debate of who the best available safety in the 2014 draft class is. Let’s break down the prospect.

 

About: 

The Orange Park, Florida native Reynolds stand at six feet, two inches tall and weighs 206 pounds. Him and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor have the best “length” out of all the available free safeties in the 2014 draft class.

Reynolds first full season as a starter was his sophomore year, where he tallied five interceptions and returned three for touchdowns. In his junior year, which was his final season at Stanford, he reeled in only two interceptions with quarterbacks noticeably avoiding throwing his way.

In 2012 he won the Jack Tatum Trophy, which is given to the nation’s best defensive back. He was a third team All-American in 2012 and a first team All-American in 2013. Reynolds is the son of former NFL player Ed Reynolds Senior, who was on both the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.

 

Strengths:

As I previously mentioned, Reynolds has an excellent frame with the length to match. His long arms lead to many plays on the ball, along with decent hands leading to big time interceptions.

His sideline to sideline speed against the pass may be the best out of all the free safeties in this draft class. Quarterbacks caught on after his sophomore year that they should throw away from him.

Although his frame could pack on ten more pounds of muscle, Reynolds likes to throw his shoulders around. He often lines up sideline runners and sends them flying out of bounds.

Screenshot 2014-01-29 19.57.04

Reynolds in pursuit to line up the ball carrier.

 

Screenshot 2014-01-29 19.56.53

Boom.

With the ball in his hands, Reynolds is a game changer. He has top notch vision and has a knack for finding his way into the end zone after interceptions.

Weaknesses:

Although he is a safety, Reynolds really needs to work on his tackling. His biggest red flag is the strange angles he takes at ball carriers. He plays extremely deep and often takes himself entirely out of plays.

Screenshot 2014-01-29 19.48.27

Franklin took this for a touchdown, as Reynolds completely took himself out of the play.

Even when Reynolds displays self control and attempts to wrap up rather than use his shoulder, it is not exactly pretty. At the moment, he seems to be a true ball hawk. His only problem against the pass is his “uphill” speed. At times he seems a step slower than wideouts when he needs recovery speed, a huge factor of adjusting to the NFL.

Much like Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, Reynolds should not be relied on in run support early in his career. His frame is not filled out and he does not read run plays well while they develop in order to avoid more physical blockers. He also missed the entire 2011 season with an ACL tear.

How does he fit on the Jets?:

Much like Clinton-Dix, Reynolds fits in quite well as a ballhawking free safety. Unlike Clinton-Dix, I do not expect him to come off the board in the first round. If he slips to the Jets second round pick, it would be interesting to see what the Jets do.

He has instant starter capability for a team that needs help in the back end of the secondary, specifically in deep coverage. The Jets looked lost against the long ball this year and Reynolds deep center field style of play could make a difference. Not to mention tackling and angles seem to be his biggest weakness, an area that Rex Ryan excels at developing (Antonio Cromartie’s development comes to mind).

 

Conclusion:

Players with range against the intermediate-deep passes aren’t always the easiest to find, especially with Reynolds playmaking ability. He has a knack for getting the ball into the end zone on interceptions.

While Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix seems like the more rounded out player at the moment, Reynolds size and skill set is intriguing. He struggles in areas that most defensive coaches are very capable of developing.

At the end of the day I see Ed Reynolds as a mid second round prospect and definitely a guy the Jets will have on their radar.

 

Follow Connor Rogers: @Real_CR3

  • Lidman

    Connor,

    One of your knocks on Cromartie, moving to FS, is he’s not a good tackler? Are you saying Rex took him from ‘totally unacceptable’, to just ‘poor’?

    Either way, I think poor tackling, in Rex’ single high S look, is less important than range, so Reynolds does certainly seem to have that skill.

  • Connor Rogers

    Yes, Cromartie was an anemic tackler when he came to the Jets. Now he does enough to get by thanks to Rex’s development.

    I just think Cromartie is more valuable (when healthy) as a man press corner than a free safety. I could be wrong, but it’s just my thoughts.

    Reynolds range definitely fits Rex’s single high safety spot perfectly.

  • Harold

    I know you like Connor so to stil give such an honest and balanced look at Reynolds was appreciated. He lloks like a keeper but I think he would only interest the Jets in the 3rd round or later. I don’t the Jets are looking safety that high unless they pick an extra pick in a trade.

  • Nick

    The guys sounds good , but not in the early rounds for me. wanna see what Brandon Hardin has to offer. We signed him at the end of the season

  • John X

    Harold, I don’t follow your post when you claim he likes Connor. Who’s that? Typo?

    I agree he’d be nice to have but only if we’ve addressed many of the needs in FA. We do need a bona fide patrol that can cover the back end but at the expense of some of the other needs? I’d lean against that seeing the needs across the board.
    We’ll see how free agency shakes out. But I really like this guy and believe the Jets will look at him closely.

    Another great scouting report fully assessing his talents and shortcomings. Thanks Connor!

  • John X

    Connor,

    I’ve seen film on him and he IS out of position on many runs that break through. He curiously takes poor angles against the run yet is in very good position vs the pass and reads the QB well while diagnosing plays.
    It could be a very worthy pick if Ed Reed stayed on to give him some instruction.

  • twoshady18

    John X…. yeah, Harold sounded pretty drunk on that post. luckily i speak fluent inebriation, although dialects can vary among beer and liquor drinkers. I believe he meant to say “I know you like him , Connor”.

  • Connor Rogers

    I think Harold was referring to my thoughts about Reynolds on twitter, in which I am a big fan of his depending how the board falls.

    Thanks for the feedback guys, some really good stuff here. He has so much work to do in the run game and overall tackling, but as John X mentioned he has a really high ceiling against the pass (which is what we need help against).

  • Lidman

    With Sherman in the ‘news’, PFF brings up the debate….http://goo.gl/jhYRlt

  • John X

    Thanks for the translations, resident drunkard and editor. I read it again and I think I follow after all.

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