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Jayden Reed
NFL Draft

Jayden Reed A Senior Bowl Tuesday Practice Standout

  • Justin Melo
  • January 31, 2023
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Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed was electric throughout the first day of practice at the 2023 Senior Bowl. Reed routinely torched opposing defensive backs during one-on-one practice reps. Reed is a mid-round prospect that’s worth monitoring moving forward.

Cornerbacks lining up in off-coverage have been no match for Reed.

Reed is a versatile offensive weapon that can be effective at all three areas of the field. He stacked multiple victories underneath the coverage, but he also showcased his prowess as a deep threat. Reed possesses the foot speed necessary to attack defenses vertically.

“I love the deep ball,” Reed told The Draft Network earlier this month. “I enjoy executing a play that allows me to showcase my deep speed. I love making contested catches. You can’t go wrong with a fade route or a post route. Those are probably my two favorite routes. I love the deep routes,” Reed concluded.

Don’t let Reed’s pedestrian 2022 numbers fool you. Reed totaled 55 receptions for 636 receiving yards and five touchdowns. It was a step backward from his 2021 season, where Reed recorded career-highs in yards (1,026) and touchdowns (10). The 5-7 Spartans had various offense issues (across their offensive line and at quarterback) that capped Reed’s production. The Spartans scored 24.4 points per contest, which ranked 92nd out of 131 qualifying programs. Reed was a victim of his lackluster surroundings.

The Senior Bowl provides the perfect environment for prospects like Reed to truly showcase their next-level value. The conditions (and quarterback play) are significantly better than what Reed experienced throughout 2022. Reed took advantage of his opportunities on Tuesday.

The Spartans enjoyed success when moving Reed all over their offensive formation. Reed’s tape study displayed a versatile receiver that lined up at X, Z, and in the slot. That versatility will be appreciated by all 32 NFL teams. Reed occasionally lined up in the backfield and was utilized via pre-snap motion, jet-sweeps, and other creative manners that stressed defenses. Rostering a player with Reed’s dynamic skill set opens up an offensive coordinator’s playbook.

While that versatility is welcomed, Reed should find a home in the slot at the next level. That’s where Reed can use his short-area quickness to swiftly separate from defenders. Placing Reed in advantageous positions pre-snap will aid his acclimation to the strength and physicality of the pro game. Once Reed secures the ball, his dynamic run-after-catch abilities are on full display. Reed routinely accelerates past defenders in the open field. He also possesses enough strength to run through arm tackles. Much like he did throughout Tuesday’s Senior Bowl scrimmage, Reed is going to create post-catch opportunities for himself at the next level.

The wide receiver group in the 2023 NFL Draft appears to lack the high-end star power of recent draft classes. April’s draft doesn’t currently have a clear-cut No. 1 receiver at this point in the evaluation. NFL franchises may pivot to locating value selections in the mid-to-late rounds. Reed is stating his case.

Standout performers at the Senior Bowl improve their pre-draft stock on an annual basis. Jayden Reed was a massive winner on Tuesday. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Written By

Justin Melo