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John Reid’s Athleticism, Cover Skills Likely Make Him A Late-Round NFL Draft Pick

John Reid’s Penn State football career took an unfortunate turn when he tore his ACL the spring before his junior year in 2017. Despite that, the cornerback rebounded well and became one of the Nittany Lions’ most productive backs over the course of the next two seasons.

Reid finished his redshirt senior season and graduated this past winter, and he’s now projected by many to be a late-round pick in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. Most recently, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller released a mock draft that had the New Jersey native selected in the fifth round at No. 167 overall by the Buffalo Bills.

Aside from what he showcased as a consistent cover man for the Nittany Lions, Reid’s solid numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine should stand out to teams. The 5’10”, 187-pound cornerback ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash, put up 20 reps on the bench press, and had a 36.5-inch vertical jump. Reid also had the fastest 20-yard shuttle time at this year’s combine, clocking in at 3.97 seconds.

NFL analyst Lance Zierlein described Reid as a “competitive press nickel who uses mirror quickness and controlled hand work to make press release uncomfortable for receivers.”

Zierlein went on to compliment Reid’s balance and body control but mentioned his smaller stature will make him an easy mismatch for any larger wide receiver. Reid’s NFL comparison turned out to be fellow Nittany Lion Grant Haley.

While his lack of size is a valid concern for any team, there’s no arguing against Reid’s production at Penn State. He started all 14 games on the Nittany Lions’ 2016 Big Ten Championship team and finished that season as an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the conference’s coaches and media.

Following his injury in 2017, Reid recorded two interceptions and 10 pass deflections as a redshirt junior in 2018. His most productive season came as a redshirt senior this past year when he grabbed two more picks and another 10 pass deflections, all while recording a career-high 37 tackles — 2.5 of them for loss.

The biggest play of Reid’s final season in Happy Valley was his pick-six against Buffalo, his first and only score as a Nittany Lion. The play helped spark a massive scoring run for Penn State that resulted in a 45-13 victory.

Reid leaves Penn State with 24 pass breakups and seven interceptions. The total of 31 career passes defended puts him at No. 13 on Penn State’s all-time list.

Other than Bleacher Report’s fifth-round projection, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso’s early-March mock draft had Reid going in the seventh round at No. 217 overall to San Francisco. Trapasso mentioned Reid’s “smaller frame” but also noted the several “splash plays in coverage” he made during his Penn State career.

While there are some fair knocks on the cornerback, Reid’s ability to make plays at Penn State and consistently lockdown opposing receivers means he’ll likely get a chance with an NFL team in this year’s draft.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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