Posted on: August 16, 2009 6:36 pm
Seattle Seahawk defensive end Nick Reed is a classic example of a highly productive collegiate prospect falling on draft day because of a lack of ideal size and speed. Few, if any, defensive ends across the country can match Reed's career numbers. The owner of the University of Oregon's career sacks (29.5) and tackles for loss (51.5) -- which each rank fourth in Pac-10 history -- Reed earned first-team all-conference honors as a junior and senior. The epitome of consistency, Reed recorded at least one sack in 23 of his 26 career starts. The Ducks listed Reed at 6-3, 245 pounds, but scouts knew better and despite his eye-popping production, wasn't even invited to the Combine. Measuring in at a shade over 6-0, and 247 pounds, Reed fell all the way to 247th pick overall, where Seattle, the team closest in proximity to seeing him on a regular basis, decided to take a chance. Reed, playing exclusively at right defensive end (though he dropped into zone blitz coverage, on occasion) registered 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, and an interception. His primary competition was San Diego reserve left tackle L.J. Shelton, an 11 year veteran with 127 career starts.
Nick Reed, Seattle Seahawks, DE, #98: Good initial quickness off the snap to push the tackle's shoulder. Fast enough off the edge to turn the tackle and scoot past him with either a good second burst, or quick re-direct back inside. Active, accurate hands to slap away the tackle's attempts to grab hold of him. Lacks the strength to break free if captured, though he doesn't stop working to gain his release. Rare effort in pursuit laterally and downfield. Used a speed rush outside against Shelton to record his sack. Most impressive play may have been his interception. Initially attempted a speed rush, but when countered effectively by Shelton, Reed focused his attention on Charger reserve quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and read screen pass. Reed released from Shelton, slipped laterally toward the running back and was in perfect position to snatch Whitehurst's toss. Though instinctive and quick enough laterally to maintain his containment responsibilities in the running game, Reed's current size and strength is just too much of a liability to see consistent playing time in the base scheme. As a weapon during obvious passing downs, however, Reed proved that his consistent ability to make plays behind the line scrimmage did not end in college.
Posted on: March 13, 2009 12:28 am
Though scouts attended the Boston College and Oregon Pro Days Thursday to see potential Top 50 picks B.J. Raji, Max Unger, Ron Brace and Patrick Chung, among others, the early word out of each workout was that a playmaking, Combine-snub stole some of the show.
At Oregon, defensive end/outside linebacker Nick Reed, the Pac-10's leading sacker each of the past two seasons, measured in at 6-foot-1, 245 pounds and put up some impressive numbers in the drills: 40-yard Dash: 4.71...Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches...Bench Press Reps (225 pounds): 24...Broad Jump: 9.0 feet...Short Shuttle: 4.27...Three-Cone Drill: 6.96...60-yard Shuttle: 12.02. There were 22 teams on hand.
At Boston College, one-time iconic linebacker/fullback Brian Toal turned in an impressive Pro Day performance of his own. Toal has struggled throughout his career with injury, including missing most of his senior season with a broken right leg (fibula). At the BC Pro Day Thursday, however, Toal appeared to have his old explosiveness back, registering a 37.5" vertical jump. The vertical would have led all linebackers tested at the Combine, including former ACC star Aaron Curry. Toal showed surprising agility and flexibility throughout linebacker and running back drills. He caught the ball cleanly in running back drills.
Reed and Toal are among the more intriguing "diamond in the rough" prospects of the 2009 draft. Each had been characterized as a try-hard player with limited athleticism, but impressive workout totals could lead to late round or -- at minimum -- free agent consideration.