Coverage Spacing - When he anticipates targets he will do well to trigger and drive into the throw and take some risks. He's not overly explosive to close off his landmark and as such savvy QBs will be able to toy with him and work him off his spot. Pretty patient in the shallow spaces to hold ground and not bail, however.
Acceleration - He's only modest here. He's got build up speed and doesn't have the kind of transitional quickness, burst or long speed you'd like to see in the middle of the field as a free safety. Even blitzes off the edge don't come with a lot of pop or suddenness to close and pressure.
Tackling - He's a sturdy tackler. Charges into piles with confidences and willing to bang heads will ball carriers or receivers in head on collisions. Good wingspan comes in handy as a wrap and roll defender and he does well to slide and scrape when he's aligned in the box to stay balanced and flow to shadow cut backs.
Zone Coverage Skills - His ball production comes from proper flow, especially on longer developing plays. ironically doesn't show a great deal of range on the back end but is viable as a deep third defender to work over top of plays and be ready for misfires or tipped balls.
Ball Skills - Hand-eye coordination is pretty solid, allowing him to react late to balls that get tipped up into the air and secure turnovers. Has dug out low throws on quick game, too. He won't flash in front of on-time targets however — so production is reliant on team and misfires on other side of the ball.
Competitive Toughness - Appreciate aggressiveness as a fill defender in run fits and he's willing to stack up blockers with his hands and punch/extend himself free. Physical play will do well on special teams units and offers enough build up speed to get down on kick coverage. Rotational depth complimented by ST reps will earn him a 55- man spot.
Flexibility - Fairly static through the core and hips, he doesn't show a lot of hinge and when he needs to redirect with suddenness there's not a lot for him to tap into — so isolation reps against slot receivers is a recipe for trouble and will need to play almost exclusively zone reps for best results.
Feet/COD - He's not dynamic, but he is controlled. He's not wild or false stepping himself into trouble and does well to stay balanced early in reps before transitioning to a pursuit role. His ability to drop down and drive forward out of a pedal is limited — his most effective fills come from flat footed reads.
Man Cover Skills - Would not endorse any prominent role in this capacity. He's pretty modest with lateral mobility and footwork to mirror and hip mobility is not a strength to transition and play turn and run coverage down the field. His anticipation is best when he can key the eyes of the QB.
Versatility - He's not appealing in man to man, so pressure looks are going to be difficult to endorse unless you keep him in the box to work off the edge, but he's not overly explosive there, either. Sub-package box prowler for shallow zones and special teams reps are where he'll win the most.
Best Trait - Tackling
Worst Trait - Deep Range
Best Film - Notre Dame (2019)
Worst Film - LSU (2019)
Red Flags - None
Player Summary - J.R. Reed projects as a depth safety at the pro level. Reed's range isn't spectacular but he's a pretty reliable down hill alley defender in the run game. The more often you can get Reed worked into the box, the better he will shine — more of a traditional strong safety; but the value of that role is diminished in today's NFL. Reed can have a positive influence on special teams thanks to his physical demeanor — but he's a bit too stale in transitions to warrant high reps on a defense in the pros.