First Step Quickness –He's pretty sudden when driving forward at the snap, not necessarily a long strider and he's going to require more steps to cover real estate, but his steps are quick and allow him to motor quickly and push up the field as a rusher.
Hand Technique/Length – Lack of length is notable, both anatomically and on film. It's crippling to his projection as a true rusher, he offers minimal ability to diminish rush angles with his hands. He does do well to rip through contact and his low leverage helps him to get under hands of blockers.
Pass Rush Counters – He corners quite well and predominantly wins off blitzes and with speed off the edge. Love how well he drops the shoulder and rips to turn tight corners. He won't offer much in the way of separation or speed to power, however.
Flexibility – He's capable of producing some admirable lower body tilt and cornering with pace. He doesn't showcase a lot of mobility through the hips playing in space and in zone drops, but it appears that the issues stem more from uncertainty in play action.
Run Defending – He's a slasher/WILL type against the run. Does well when left unattended to attack or crash down hard off the weak side of the play. Can find the ball when left unattended. He's quickly eliminated once he's given up his chest to blockers.
Competitive Toughness –He's not super inspiring to playing off of contact. He doesn't give a big presence to attack blocks, but he's fearless as a tackler. Love how urgent his effort is as a rusher to work back to the passer and look to peel into the action if he's overshot his mark.
Tackling – He's pretty violent, he closes in with confidence and will smack the ball carrier if he's given the chance. That said, he's not overly consistent to wrap up and will let ball carriers bounce off his pads because he can't finish with short wingspan.
Lateral Mobility – He's really shifty in short space. He's bob and weave through traffic as necessary and can make blockers look silly with his inside twists. He lacks the same confidence and feel when he's working on the second level and needing to scrape and change directions.
Stand Up Ability –Worked off the ball with a lot of frequency in 2018, offering new life to a projection that otherwise would be pretty underwhelming as a true EDGE. He's pretty clueless still in zone coverage but he can sustain the same push and quickness out of a 2 pt. stance.
Football IQ – He's got the arrow pointed up after spending the season in a new role that asked him to do a lot more. He's got exciting natural instincts as a pass rusher but his space role is in need of a lot of additional practice and repetition.
PROSPECT COMPARISON - Genard Avery
BEST TRAIT – Short Area Quickness
WORST TRAIT – Size
BEST FILM – Fresno State (2018)
WORST FILM – Vanderbilt (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Malik Reed is an interesting projection, as he doesn't fit the mold of a pure EDGE. Reed was moved to off-ball linebacker for many of his reps in 2018, which allowed him to still attack forward but also put him in space to attack off of the second level as well. Reed has a lot of room to grow as an off-ball defender but it does suggest there's a role ahead for him as a more versatile defender in the pros. Reed has impressive instinct attacking forward and rushing the passer.
Round Grade - Sixth Round