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49ers 2018 NFL Draft recap: CB D.J. Reed

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49ers draft recap D.J. Reed
© Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers added nine players to their roster in the 2018 NFL Draft. We break down the Niners’ draft, and discuss each pick’s expected role for the upcoming 2018 season and beyond.

 

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were full of surprises during the 2018 NFL Draft. While the 49ers added a number of talented players at key positions, they avoided the team’s most immediate areas of need — edge rusher and interior offensive line.

Let’s take a look at the sixth of the San Francisco 49ers’ nine draft picks:

 

Round 5 – Pick #142: D.J. Reed, CB, Kansas State

At 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds, cornerback D.J. Reed played on the outside for the Kansas State Wildcats, but will be forced to move inside for San Francisco. While 49ers nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams is under contract with the team through 2020, Lynch and Shanahan have been quick to choose younger, cheaper prospects over established veterans, no matter the dead-money implications.

Reed is a fiery defender who plays bigger than his size, although his physicality can sometimes get him into trouble with the referees. The cornerback is a surprisingly good tackler for his size, and never hesitates to stick his nose in to break up a play:

Reed appears to play with a chip on his shoulder, and certainly doesn’t lack confidence, which was evident during his initial interview with the San Francisco media:

“I mean, you just watch my film, I’m a lock-down corner first and foremost. I don’t get scored on and then I get interceptions, I get my offense the ball and I’m a physical tackler. I create turnovers, which is the main thing, and I also do very well in kick return, punt return. So I mean, I feel like I’m the whole package. I’m an athlete, really” – D.J. Reed

Reed ran a 4.51 40-yard dash at the 2018 NFL combine, and he’s quicker than he is fast, although he has excellent initial acceleration. Reed’s seven interceptions over his two years at Kansas State are representative of his above-average ball skills.

Reed is also a factor on special teams, as he can return both punts and kickoffs. Thanks to this draft class, the 49ers will have their choice of multiple talented options in the return game in 2018.

NEXT PICK:Marcell Harris, S, Florida

Chris Wilson is the Lead Writer for Locked on 49ers - part of the Locked On Podcast Network. You may have seen Chris Wilson’s work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis and film breakdowns at FanSided, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, ClutchPoints, Insidethe49 and others. Follow Chris Wilson on Twitter @cgawilson.

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