Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
Went ahead and watched some Ed Reynolds games and came away very very unimpressed. Observations:
- He looks like the smallest guy out there. You watch a niner game today and there's Whitner, a bit short, but with the thickness of a nose tackle, and a real big kid in Eric. I mean even on this team, and even against NFL competition Eric Reid looks like a grown man. This guy looks like Craig Dahl
- He missed so many tackles that after a while I wasn't even expecting him to make routine tackles. After the 4th or 5th miss I was disgusted
- He misread way too many plays. Hit the wrong gap, went the wrong way, etc.
- Hands aren't elite. He dropped a few would-be picks
- He is SLOW. SLLLLLOOOOOWWWW. On the pick 6 against UCLA I was amazed that he made it into the endzone. I want to see him line up in a race against Staley. I got my money on 74
The thing that works towards him is 1 seasons of really impressive stats. I'm not seeing that same type of production this year, and am not seeing how those numbers were produced when watching him games. I really really want to like him. We need a safety, I like Stanford players, and LOVE college production. I was really sad that I couldn't feel great about him after watching him play.
As far as tackling, absolutely, that is one of his weaknesses but something that I think primarily comes from taking bad angles, bad footwork, all things that can be coached up at the next level. There is literally nobody that doubts that Reynolds can improve as far as tackling and stopping the run.
Now as for the rest, you lost me completely.
As far as the first part, I have no idea what you're talking about in terms of size, Reynolds is about 6'1....6'2", that puts him into Eric Reid territory. He looks to be about 195-200 pounds, hardly small for his size so I don't know where any of that came from.
In terms of coverage, he's still raw but shows tremendous instincts moving around the field. He's definitely more of the true centerfielder type and ends up in the right spot the vast majority of the time. At times he's been caught peeking into the backfield and thus getting beat by misdirections but once more, something that is coachable, however as far as being able to stick with pretty much anyone in coverage, I don't think there's much doubt about his abilities.
I think his hands are actually pretty solid, he ends up in position to knock away passes so frequently that people tend to notice it more often because he's always around the ball.....which IMO is a good thing, if your free safety is frequently in a position to make an interception or a play on the ball, that is pretty much the ideal.
As far as being slow, now you've really lost me. No he's not a 4.3 guy but his speed is certainly more than suitable, he has shown the ability to keep up with speedy deep threat wide receivers, running backs and physical tight-ends. Go take a look at his recent performance against Washington, he clearly upped his stock and showed tremendous versatility all over the field.
A quietly but equally effective contribution to Stanford's victory, however, was redshirt junior free safety Ed Reynolds, whose coverage skills helped limit Washington's ability to find talented pass-catchers Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams.
Both Seferian-Jenkins (tight end) and Williams (wide receiver) are legitimate early round NFL prospects but the juniors struggled to make impactful plays for most of the night in large part because of Reynold's range and physicality.
Williams became a significant factor as the Huskies made a valiant fourth quarter comeback but his production (five catches for 89 yards) came mostly on deep out-breaking routes when he drew single coverage.
At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Reynolds possesses the lanky build scouts are looking for at the position. He also demonstrated good agility and acceleration to handle covering Seferian-Jenkins out of the slot as well as supply deep help over the top to limit Price, normally an aggressive deep-ball passer.
The high academic requirements Stanford imposes usually equate to instinctive, technically-sound defenders and that is certainly the case with Reynolds, a savvy defender and reliable open-field tackler. Reynolds breaks down well in space and delivers a pop on contact, often driving ball-carriers back.
With Reynolds there is A LOT of potential to develop. Poor tackling technique and footwork all can be coached up but his natural instincts that allow him to be a ballhawk and end up where the ball goes in so many circumstances simply can't.
You do make a good point in terms of Reid still being very raw and having only one season under his belt, which is why I'm so interested to see how this season unfolds, how he performs against Oregon and how consistent he is throughout this season. I'm still a huge fan, I see a really smart player with a ton of potential, a guy who can handle defending receivers and tight-end's a like, someone who could be an ideal centerfielder type of safety with enough hard hitting ability to have receivers hearing footsteps all game long.