Friday, September 13, 2013
49ers safety Eric Reid starts career off right
By Bill Williamson
Lost in the explosive performances on offense by Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin in the San Francisco 49ers' season-opening victory over Green Bay was an eye-popping NFL debut by safety Eric Reid.
The first-round pick from LSU was tremendous. He was all over the field and made his presence felt. If Reid continues to play this well as a rookie, the 49ers will be in good shape. Reid was drafted to replace Dashon Goldson, who went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.
It might be a stretch to say Reid could be as good as Goldson, but the 49ers weren’t missing much with him on the field. He had one interception, and another -- which saved a touchdown -- was taken away by a San Francisco penalty. Reid also had seven tackles, hitting hard and patrolling the middle of the field well.
Reid was very active. He did not seem like he was playing his first game -- a great sign. It seems Reid will get more comfortable quickly and become a key cog in an already-strong defense. ESPN analyst Matt Williamson said Reid was a rookie standout in Week 1.
“I was very impressed with Reid,” Williamson said. “He obviously has great size, was around the football a lot and really showed up quite a bit. It was a great debut.”
Draft guru Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. on Reid heading into the NFL season: “Honestly, we liked his 2011 tape better than his 2012 tape. We had some concerns about run support with regards to his angles and tackling based on his 2012 tape but we still ended up giving him an early second round grade for some of the reasons you mention. He can cover a lot of ground in coverage and it’s not just about his speed. He reads keys quickly and he has good instincts so he can get an early break on the ball. While he intercepted a respectable six passes during his college career, that’s not elite production and we felt he had the potential to develop into a ball hawk thanks in part to his long arms (33.5) and big hands (10). Finally, the run support issues are fixable flaws not so much an issue of toughness. He flashed the ability to get downhill and deliver the blow on contact.”