2011 NFL Draft: Is Brooks Reed the Next Clay Matthews?

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2011 NFL Draft: Is Brooks Reed the Next Clay Matthews?
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When you think of Brooks Reed, you think of Clay Matthews Jr. Not just because of the long locks or the fact that they both play on the outside and get after the quarterback, but because they both play with a disturbing tenacity and intensity.

Reed was already a solid draft prospect following a productive 2010 campaign. Then he went to the 2011 NFL Combine. With solid numbers across the board that supported his “freak athlete” label, Reed has seen himself climb up mock drafts everywhere.

Position: DE/OLB

School: Arizona

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 263 lbs

Arms: 32 1/4

Hands: 10”

40 Time: 4.67

Strengths

Hate the cliche’s all you want, but Reed simply is what people say he is: an angry ball of athletic energy that just won’t stop.

Reed has outstanding size and versatility, allowing him to line up and use his great strength on the line as a defensive end or use his speed and ability in pursuit to get after the quarterback on the edge.

He shows great leverage, moves and knowledge of proper angles when working off the line and has a knack for getting past the offensive line and making plays in the backfield. Even when he doesn’t get the sack, the quarterback generally still feels his presence.

He’s a menacing terror on the outside with good, natural instincts as a pass-rusher and adequate in run support.

 

Weaknesses

Reed seems to rely too much on his size and initial burst. He's not the greatest at shedding blocks or taking on bigger blockers, and he doesn’t have a solid repertoire of moves.

Reed needs to hone his craft and become more consistent as his intensity can sometimes get in the way of making a play, and he can over-shoot his target.

 

Draft Range

What you see is what you get with Reed, and that in no way is a bad thing. He won’t excel in coverage, but he has the athleticism and versatility to play on the line or drop back, while his ability to get behind the line of scrimmage ranks among the best in this draft class.

Reed will find a team in the first or second round due to his soaring stock and intensity for the game. He’s one of the most gifted and talented pass-rushers in the draft and could easily turn into an elite edge rusher at the next level if he can cut back mistakes and become more balanced.

Look for him to get a good look from teams like Baltimore, New York (Jets), Pittsburgh and Green Bay near the end of the first round, while the Patriots, Bills and Broncos could all snag him at the beginning of the second round.

NFL Player Comparison: Clay Matthews

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