In our continued NFL draft profile series, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may look to go to the well for the second year in a row at safety after taking Justin Evans in the second round last season, and may have interest in Stanford safety Justin Reid on the second day of the draft this year.
With last year’s second round pick Justin Evans locked in at one safety spot and veteran Chris Conte likely playing the other spot this season the only other returning safety seeing playing time last season is backup Keith Tandy. With Evans coming off a season ending injury and just Tandy to fill in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are actually quite thin at the safety position, and during free agency they chose not to address the position at all, so far, passing on all of the safety free agents, and may be waiting until after the draft before they decide to sign or not sign any of the remaining free agent safeties.
Really liking the way Evans progressed last season into a starter and even though Conte is signed through the 2018 season an upgrade to find a player with Evans at the safety position is most likely going to happen during the draft. Now whether that is previously profiled safeties Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round, or more likely a safety on day two or even day three of the draft who knows.
One of those possible day two safety options that the Buccaneers could have interest in is the brother to current NFL free agent Eric Reid, so let’s take a look into a potential second day pick for the Buccaneers in Stanford University safety Justin Reid.
Justin Reid’s College Career
Reid played in twelve games as a freshman for the Cardinals but mainly as a backup special teamer starting in zero. As a sophomore he finally got his chance to start while playing in thirteen games and starting ten of them with 55 tackles and seven pass breakups. Last season during his junior year he burst on to the scene with 99 tackles, six pass breakups, and five interceptions; giving him a career total of 170 tackles, fourteen pass breakups, and six interceptions.
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While being selected to the All-PAC 12 first team in his junior year and then deciding to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
In February at the combine he measured in a 6′ and 207 pounds with very good numbers running a 4.4 40-yard dash with a 36.5″ vertical and doing 16 reps on the bench press.
Reid has shown very good football IQ throughout his career and is very good in coverage with the ability to play several different roles in the secondary.
Has the speed to react to the plays quickly giving him the ability to stay in position and not get beaten deep too often.
He has good ball skills and the vertical to jump up and play the ball at the highest point either getting a pass breakup or an interception shown by his five interceptions last season.
With his speed he also has the ability to fly into the box and tackle the runner with ease and once he gets his hands on the ball carrier most of the time he is very good at getting them down.
Even though he has very good 4.4 speed his back pedal is a little slow making it difficult for him to keep up with a smaller speedy elusive slot receiver meaning he has to play catchup, but a lot of safeties might have trouble with that type of receiver.
At times, but not often, he gets caught looking into the backfield and may get faked out by a good play fake and before he realizes that it’s a pass he is already behind the receiver and has to use his speed to chase them down.
Sometimes he reads the run play so fast that he comes flying down into the box with his 4.4 speed that he gets faked off balance and the runner is able to avoid the tackle.
Why the Buccaneers Need Justin Reid?
Well the obvious answer is that after the Buccaneers had the worst defense overall and the worst passing defense in the NFL last season that any secondary additions couldn’t hurt.
The Buccaneers like the development of Justin Evans and with Chris Conte at the other safety and as mentioned above the only other safety with starting time is Keith Tandy adding to the safety depth is definitely a must.
Reid’s ability to play both safety positions and some other roles in the secondary should appeal to the Buccaneers who like versatile players that they can play all at once (best 11 players on the field).
With Reid being a very good and productive player in college the Buccaneers could have two young great players on the back end it would really help in their pass defense and defense as a whole for years to come … hopefully.
Will the Buccaneers Draft Justin Reid?
With the Buccaneers first round selection at seven, in my opinion, coming down to Sequon Barkley or Quenton Nelson or Bradley Chubb, and if none of them are there a trade back where they could land a player like Derwin James or Minkah Fitzpatrick then drafting Reid would be unnecessary.
Basically it all comes down to who is there at seven when the Buccaneers are on the clock if its Barkley or Nelson or Chubb that’s the pick. Then safety may be addressed in the second round which is where Justin Reid is projected to be drafted and he could be selected by the Buccaneers, but if they don’t get Barkley at seven and trade back taking a corner or safety later then running back in the second round becomes a must.
So I have kind of answered the question on whether the “Buccaneers Will Draft Justin Reid?” with basically a … maybe … depending on what happens in the first round because with no third round selection the second round pick becomes very important after what happens at seven.
Continue to check back each day for a daily draft profiles to see whether or not these players should be, or could be the next member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Tell me your thoughts on safety Justin Reid’s out of Stanford and his chance of being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the draft in the comments section or tweet me directly @ND1Bucsfan and continue to read and enjoy all of The Pewter Plank draft profiles.