Brooks Reed is a name that has generated a lot of buzz around the draft community. Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, Reed has been mentioned as a late 1st round pick and has drawn comparisons to Clay Matthews. Frankly, I disagree in both cases. From everything I can see, Reed is someone that you’d love to have on your team but I don’t see anything elite in his play that would make me give him a first round grade. He’s a high motor guy but doesn’t have a tremendous amount of production or consistency in his time at Arizona. However, his ability to play 3-4 rush linebacker in the NFL will bump his grade up slightly and he does have a fairly high ceiling. I feel he’s an early 2nd round value, but could potentially slip into the bottom end of round 1 if a team is desperate to get a rush linebacker.
This is probably the weakest area of Reed’s game. He just doesn’t appear strong when matched up against run blockers. Reed has trouble anchoring and setting the edge and can get washed out of the play by stronger linemen. However, he does keep his head up and locates the ball well, flying to it once he can. He does have some trouble shedding blocks vs. the run and without a doubt, needs to learn to use his hands more efficiently.
Few were the times that Reed dropped into zone coverage at Arizona, so this area is extremely hard to evaluate. Reed did do a very nice job in linebacker drills at the Senior Bowl and certainly has the athleticism and awareness to further develop in this area.
Getting after the quarterback is certainly Reed’s specialty, but he’s far from elite. From what I see, he’s practically a one-trick pony when rushing the passer. He doesn’t have active hands and is down right predictable at times. Reed starts most games with strong outside rushes and then throws in an inside spin move to try to catch the blocker sleeping. He is very effective running the arc but against athletic lineman, he can get run right out of the play. Aside form a dip/rip move to the outside and an inside spin, Reed has a decent bull rush but not much else in his pass rush toolbox. Doesn’t appear violent or sudden and doesn’t have a counter move when his initial rush move doesn’t work. He does possess a very solid first step and has great quickness in short areas. Relentless and has a super-high motor. When he gets to the quarterback, he does a nice job going for the strip.
Reed is a fundamentally sound tackler and can deliver a solid pop when given the opportunity. However, I wouldn’t consider him a violent hitter.
Hand Placement & Usage
Needs drastic improvement in this area and for me, this is what kept him from having a first round grade. His hands aren’t active and don’t appear strong on tape. Reed can have a hard time getting off blocks and will allow blockers into his pads in the run game.
Instincts & Awareness
Reed appears to have a high football IQ and clearly understands his roles and responsibilities while on the field. He keeps his head up and locates the ball, effectively sniffing out screen plays and draws. Reed understands the rules of backside pursuit.
Against the rush, Reed flows down the line fluidly. In space, Reed’s athleticism shines. Appears to have fluid hips and moves well in space and when in pursuit, has shown solid change of direction ability.
Reed missed two games in 2009 with a high ankle sprain.
2010: Played in 13 games with 13 starts.
2009: Played in 10 games with 8 starts.
2008: Played in 13 games with 13 starts.
2007: Played in 7 games with no starts.
Geography major at Arizona.
Awards & Honors
2010: 1st team All-Pac 10.
2008: Honorable mention All-Pac 10.
Prospect Video Clips
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