The Nick Reed Bandwagon

As indicated by the BTB Countdown Clock on the left, the 2009 NFL Draft will be upon us before we know it. And before the draft, I gotta make one last attempt to get some of you to hop onto the Nick Reed bandwagon.

Being a former Duck, myself, most of the college football games I watch are in the Pac-10; and, I try never to miss an Oregon game. The last couple of years I have come to expect #49, Nick Reed, to be in the offensive backfield on every passing down. The 6'1, 245-lb. defensive end has success using several pass-rushing moves from the outside, which--combined with his size and 4.71 pro-day 40 time--suggests he can play outside linebacker in a 34 defense. Some even see him projecting at ILB--versatile, like a Tedy Bruschi.

Here's what SBNation's Addicted to Quack had to say about Reed in their "ATQ Editors Announce 2008 Postseason Awards" post:

Defensive Player of the Year
Nominees: FS T.J. Ward, DE Nick Reed, CB Jairus Byrd, LB Spencer Paysinger.

Winner: Nick Reed
Runner Up: unanimous winner

Nick Reed defined "impact player" during his career at Oregon. His numbers in 2008 were again gaudy: 53 tackles, 20 tackles for-a-loss, 13 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries. Nick was a two-time first-team All Pac-10 player, a first-team All-American and the Pac-10's 2008 Morris Trophy winner as the top defensive lineman. Quarterbacks and left tackles throughout the Pac-10 are happy to see Nick go. We are not.

Rich Gosselin wonders why a player with Reed's successes wasn't invited to the combine.

Reed started at defensive end for Oregon for three seasons and was a two-time All-Pacific-10 selection. Pac-10 offensive linemen voted him as the 2008 Morris Trophy winner as best defensive lineman in the conference.

Reed is Oregon's all-time sacks leader with 29 ½ and finished fourth in the NCAA with 13 sacks last fall. He also finished ninth in the nation in tackles for losses with 20. Fifty-two of his 148 career tackles were for losses. He also was an academic All-American.

There aren't 50 players in this draft with better college numbers than Reed. As a football "player," he ranks with the biggest names in the Class of 2009.

Here's why, according to Gosselin and Reed, the DE was not invited to Indy.

[T]he draft is not about college productivity – it's about pro potential. Which means a player must hit the specific height, weight and speed measurements to get a look from the NFL. Reed does not.

"This has been the story of my life as a football player," Reed said. "I've always been too small. Nobody gave me much of a chance to make the jump from high school to college. Everyone said I was too small. I wasn't invited to any high school all-star games. So you just prove them wrong."

BTBer, CowboysRnumba1, hit on Reed in his "Sleeper of the Week" series back in March. And if any of you think about sending me this youtube whiff-link again, take a look at the much higher number of sack highlights either at the end of numba1's post or in the YouTube's Related Videos box. Reed's relentless bringing down of USC's Mark Sanchez, and his block-shedding, speed rush off the edge to take down Curtis Painter are more characteristic of his football tenacity. 

The question is: How would Reed fit on this current Cowboys team?

Perfectly. Wade's scheme can always use more pass rushers. Even if Reed takes time transitioning to OLB/ILB, he would be great in the four-down linemen packages that the Cowboys often deploy on passing downs.

Currently, at LB, the Cowboys have:

Keith Brooking
Bobby Carpenter
Greg Ellis*
Bradie James
Steve Octavien
Justin Rogers*
Anthony Spencer*
Matt Stewart
DeMarcus Ware*

*outside guys

With Ellis and Spencer handling one outside position, the Cowboys need a pure pass-rusher to back up Ware: that's where Reed would best fit. Obviously, Justin Rogers is more known for his special teams play than his linebacking. Ellis may be a role player, which means Spence will be too busy to backup Ware--should the "beast" need a breather.

Hopefully, Dallas drafts a true inside backer because Carp and Stewart are pretty much it behind Bradie and Brooking. For Reed to transition inside, it may take away from his specialty: rushing the passer. However, judging by Bradie's eight sacks last year, perhaps Wade will want someone who can bring some heat on the QB from the inside. Even from my bird's eye view from the couch, I can't even tell from which position the blitzes will attack.

As noted above, Nick Reed was the "impact player" for Oregon's defense. Although he may lack the coveted tangibles for combine prerequisites, the dude simply is a football player. I would hate for such a talent to be wasted in Cincy or Seattle. My hope is that Wade sees enough potential in this kid to wave a this-guy-fits-our-defense flyer in front of the Jones' brothers' faces.

C'mon. Let's take a chance. What's it gonna cost, a 5th or 6th rounder? We've got plenty of those.





Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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