By Derek Benson
Hands: 6 Route Running: 5 Ball Skills: 5
Play Speed: 5 Run After Catch: 5 Release: 5 Blocking: 5
(Explanation of grades can be found here.)
Games Watched: @ Virginia Tech 2018 (B) vs Florida St. (B) @ Notre Dame (A22) vs Florida (B)
Strengths: Reed’s long speed, hands and run after catch ability stood out. Can sell the vertical route vs off coverage with a good release. Solid route running ability, stemming his route based on defender’s leverage. On his release, Reed shows ability to manipulate the defender’s hips with stutter moves and head/shoulder fakes before crossing his face. Has solid long speed to get on top of defenders with lesser recovery ability and foot speed. Shields the ball away with his back to the defender on catches outside the hash while displaying good hands in the open field, having them close together when meeting the ball and shows solid ball control on contested catches. Good concentration at the catch point with no uncontested drops. Shows good burst after the catch and some agility to make a defender miss, showing toughness and physicality lowering shoulders before contact. Shows good effort in the run game and when blocking overall, gets in good position on his man with solid hand placement with control to seal his man.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t drop hips on his cuts, thus doesn’t have speed when breaking out of his route. Struggles against patient defenders, needing to sell fakes better. Doesn’t have the quickness to separate on his own. On jump balls, sometimes plays the ball with wide palms. Body catches at times. In open space, ball security could get a bit loose with the ball not protected underneath.
What we need to learn about him: Saw majority of off coverage and press with no hand fighting, how will he handle physical corners at the next level? Hardly ran deep and intermediate routes outside the hash and across the middle in games watched. Would his after-catch ability dwindle against better tacklers?
Scheme: Lined up mostly in the slot but saw some reps on top of the numbers. Operated on short and intermediate routes outside the hash and on short routes in the middle of the field on plays that got him in space. Ran mostly out routes, with a few slants and screens. Used as a running back on draws, sweeps and saw time at the wing as a blocker in the run game or to get him matched up against a linebacker on passing downs. Has kick return ability as well, averaging 28.7 yards per return and posting 5 career kick return touchdowns.
Injury History: 2019-missed ACC Championship game due to hip pointer injury, listed as questionable but played in bowl game vs Florida with same injury. Missed 2019 spring practices due to ankle injury.
2017- missed 1 game due to undisclosed injury.Summary: With good hands and solid ability after the catch, Reed is best suited in a system to receive the ball in space. He can add value in the return game while he improves on his route running.