Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Caraun Reid is a good example of fan expectations exceeding rational capacity for a young player.
It's not that Detroit's fifth-round pick isn't a good prospect. In time, he could make a solid starting defensive tackle, or at least a productive member of a line rotation. In time...
That time is almost certainly not 2014.
While many fans have been quick to mentally elevate Reid above solid veteran C.J. Mosley as the third defensive tackle, in truth Reid is far more likely to be a gameday inactive once the regular season starts.
Keep in mind the Lions have two ends in Jason Jones and Devin Taylor who both offer the ability to slide inside for a series or two. With Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Mosley already one of the preeminent tackle packages in the league, the Lions have no reason to rush Reid into action.
It's important to reinforce that the Princeton product was a fifth-round pick, too. Even though many projected him as a top-100 talent, no NFL team ultimately felt he was worthy.
That leads to a great quote from Sander Philipse, the editor of Bucs Nation:
Be patient with Reid. He's got a strong chance to be a good NFL contributor. Before that happens, he must gain strength and improve his hand work, neither of which are NFL-ready.
It's okay to root for Reid. He's an interesting young man, quick-witted and erudite as well as being built like a tank. Just curb the enthusiasm for much on the field in 2014.