The Los Angeles Rams continue to look at edge rushers in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Rams have shown an ability to draft and develop prospects under veterans on short deals. Malik Reed of Nevada would be a solid addition to the team. He has some versatility and traits that make him an enticing player. Reed met with the Rams for a top 30 visit on March 19.
College stats and honors:
2018: 77 tackles, 51 solo, 15.5 for loss, 8 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 4 forced fumbles.
Career: 203 tackles, 134 solo, 38.5 for loss, 22 sacks, 2 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries, 11 forced fumbles.
Honors: 1st team All-Mountain West (2018), Team Captain (2018), 1st team All-Mountain West (2017), All-Mountain West Academic Honors (2017), Nevada’s Hustle Award (2017), 2nd team All-Mountain West (2016), Outstanding Defensive Player Award (2016), Defensive Full Speed Effort Award (2016), All-Mountain West Academic Honors (2015).
Reed has a great first step. He is able to bend the edge in order to get to the quarterback. Reed is a workhorse and plays with a ton of effort. He makes a lot of plays happen due to his second effort. He takes solid angles in pursuit of the ball. Reed shows good instincts as well. His quickness almost always initiates first contact.
He can be used as a movement piece in multiple fronts. Reed played with his hand in the dirt for three years before playing more off-ball linebacker his senior year. He has the ability to drop into coverage, although he is inexperienced in that area. Reed does a good job of using speed to set up rush moves. He shows an ability to form a rush plan. Already uses a spin and rip move in his arsenal.
Reed is not an elite athlete minus his three-cone time of 6.89 seconds during his Nevada Pro Day. He needs to be used as a movement piece since his frame is not built for a full-time starter at this time. Weight listed anywhere from 234 to 250 pounds. Reed has some pass rush moves in his repertoire, but he needs to greatly improve his hand usage when fighting off blockers. Also, he will likely struggle in the NFL against the run due to his frame if he can’t bulk up. Reed might not ever be a full-time starter in the NFL. He does have versatility as an off-ball linebacker in the middle and outside, but it is not his best fit.
Expected draft round:
Although Reed is a limited athlete, his three-cone timing will entice teams. His tape does back his impressive timing. He is a quick twitch athlete that will beat offensive linemen off the snap. His pass rush moves will allow him to have some success as a pass rusher if he improves his hand usage. He will struggle against the run, however, he is not afraid to stick his nose in for tackles. Versatility in coverage, pass rush and experience as an off-ball linebacker allows a team to move him around to give him good matchups. Reed should be a fourth or fifth round prospect. I think he has value. If he can put on some weight and get stronger without losing anything in his bend, he could develop into a starter down the road.
Marquis Haynes, Olivier Vernon