Kevin Reddick Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for North Carolina LB
Kevin Reddick was a coveted recruit for North Carolina who ended up being a four-year starter. He made his biggest impact as a senior after a junior season that was pockmarked by injury issues. Reddick's versatility makes him a unique talent, coming from a defense that has been a pipeline to the NFL in recent years. Where does Reddick fit in the pros?
Reddick is a multifaceted talent with middle linebacker and pass rushing proficiency. He almost never leaves the field and looks equally comfortable whether he's in the opponent's backfield or dropping into coverage. Reddick is a finisher when he has a quarterback in his sights and he is very good at knifing through gaps and disrupting running plays.
You won't see Reddick take on a blocker very often. He prefers to run around blocks and is often results in his being out of position when the play comes his way. Reddick is somewhat tentative in his movements and will bite on fakes or otherwise overreact to developments in the play. He's not physical and not difficult to knock off of his path when he is defending the run. In general, Reddick's play lacks edge and urgency. He has trouble sticking to receivers, and his instincts on reads often let him down, taking him away from the action.
Reddick has average size at 6'1", 243 pounds. His 4.72 40 is also adequate, but not a plus. He looks even slower on film. Reddick isn't a quick-twitch player, but he occasionally flashes explosive change-of-direction skills. He does have a closing burst, especially as a pass-rusher.
He has been a starter from the middle of his freshman year on, and Reddick was also named a team captain twice during his time at Chapel Hill. His effort and instincts can be hit-and-miss, and Reddick is not always around the ball. There are no off-the-field incidents or character issues on record regarding Reddick.
Reddick played MLB in the Tar Heels' 4-3 defense, but he lined up shaded to the weak or strong-side at different times. He would also line up at defensive end occasionally on passing downs, sometimes with his hand up, and sometimes with his hand down.
While he can drop into coverage and track players that come through his zone, Reddick rarely makes plays against the pass. He does have the athleticism to make plays when he is in position, but his lack of smooth movement and overreactions make him easy to shake. The quarterback's eyes can move Reddick out of place, and his instincts seem to be wrong as often or more often than they are right. He occupies his zone more than he covers it, and Reddick looks unfit to play man coverage in the pros.
This is the strongest part of Reddick's game. He dips, bends and turns the corner better than many defensive end prospects. Reddick is also effective on stunts, and when he gets a bead on the quarterback, he usually brings them down. Reddick also times his blitzes well, both inside and outside, and he usually generates some pressure any time he is freed to rush the passer. Unfortunately, Reddick's lack of length may keep him from getting to edge rush often in the NFL.
Against the Run
Reddick exhibits the ability to flow with the play and shoot gaps to affect the runner. He is no match for offensive linemen who get to the second level, and Reddick usually will try to avoid blockers instead of taking them on. Reddick will make some clean-up plays when his motor runs warm, but that is only after his initial attack takes him out of the play. In general, Reddick is not stout nor a difference-maker on running plays.
Read and React
While he does flow well and put himself where he wants to be on many plays, Reddick has trouble finding the ball, and usually does not realize that he has been misdirected until it is too late. He sometimes has explosive change of direction to mirror a running play, but in general, Reddick reacts to too many things. He is indecisive, which in turn forces him to constantly react to every stimulus in his area. Reddick's reads take him out of too many plays.
Reddick is a solid form tackler, with the upper body strength to rarely let his quarry out of his grasp. He can bring down quarterbacks with force and he is good at tripping up backs as they come through the line. More than anything about his tackling form, what stands out about Reddick on film is how rarely he is in position to make a tackle.
Scheme Versatility/Future Role
Teams may want to use Reddick on special teams coverage units at first, and maybe as a situational pass rusher, but his body type is not ideal for rushing the edge in the NFL. He is a good enough athlete to push to start, but he needs more physicality and better instincts if he is going to get there.
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