Taking a look at the best Cornerback in the draft that know one is talking about, former Beaver Rashaad Reynolds
Rashaad Reynolds is a guy that is always around the ball. He makes plays, yet doesn't get much recognition. I don't know if it's because he played on a poor team, but he's flying under the radar and it's time we change this. He's very talented, and after taking a closer look at him, I see traits that'll make him successful at the next level.
Where He'll Succeed
- Above Average Awareness/Route Recognition
- Top Notch Change of Direction Skills
- Very Good Athlete
Reynolds has the ball skills, length, athleticism, and incredible change of direction you look for in a corner. He has long arms to be disruptive at the line of scrimmage and at the catch point.
He has shown the ability to turn and run with some of the faster receivers in the Pac-12(Paul Richardson/Marqise Lee.)
Reynolds ability to flip his hips, whether he's going vertical or horizontal, rivals any corner in the class. There's no wasted movements, he doesn't lose any speed while doing so, and his feet are very choppy and quick.
The above GIF just shows how quickly his reaction time is. He's able to break up the pass.
The above GIF is the most impressive so far, for me at least. He's getting ready to bail in a different direction, and is able to flip his hips, turn and still make a play on the ball. Just an excellent play.
Because of this trait, he's always in a position to make a play on the ball.
Almost as impressive as his change of direction skills, is Reynolds route recognition. He does a good job of playing the sticks, and understands route combinations.
He also does a good job of coming off of routes when he's in zone coverage. The 2 GIFs below are simple, yet show his awareness to play the chains.
Again, nothing fancy, but understanding the situation goes along way in playing the position.
There were 2 zone plays that stuck out to me against Oregon that were impressive. One where he read the quarterbacks eyes and made an interception. The other, he broke on a slant, and was able to break up the pass late.
Reynolds has shown the ability to diagnose run plays quickly. He's by no means a primary run, but does a good job of form tackling and being where the defense asks him to.
Where He Gets Himself in Trouble
- Plays High In his backpedal
- Opens up hips too early
- Late to locate the ball at times
For being such a good athlete, Reynolds could clean up some in his technique. When he's in press coverage, Reynolds has a tendency to play on his heels as he's retreating, causing him to lose balance and from there he's in the trail position within a matter of seconds. I noticed this quite a bit during the Boise State game. They took a shot deep on him and you could see him stand straight up.
You can see in the 1st GIF with Marqise Lee, and there were other moments this happened as wells, where Reynolds opens up too early, as if he doesn't trust his speed. I wouldn't call him a burner by any means, but he has good enough straight line speed to not bail as quickly as he does on vertical routes. At the next level, he could become victim to comeback routes, or any routes where the receiver sells a vertical route if he continues to open up too early.
The last bullet point is being nit picky, because there's not a whole lot of holes in Reynolds game. But there were instances where Reynolds either got his head around too late on sideline routes, or got caught peeking in the backfield, and paid for it.
|Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10
|| 8.5 – 9.0
|Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round
|| 8.0 – 8.4
|Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round
|| 7.8 – 7.9
|Reliable Starter, 2nd Round
|| 7.5 – 7.7
|Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round
|| 7.0 – 7.4
|Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round
|| 6.5 – 6.9
|Productive Backup, 5th Round
|| 6.0 – 6.4
|Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round
|| 5.5 – 5.9
|Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round
|| 5.0 – 5.4
|Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round
|| 4.5 – 4.9
|Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations
|| 4.0 – 4.4
|Change of direction/Feet
Reynolds grades out to a 7.84, which is a top 50 talent. I was high on him before the combine, but he really helped himself there. He ran a 4.51 40 yard dash, but ran the fastest short shuttle, and was a top 5 performer in every other drill. There are a lot of traits he has that tell me he's going to be successful at the next level. His change of direction is better than any corner I've watched. He has the instincts, natural cover skills, and length to make plays. I'm higher on guys who have correctable issues, and Reynolds fits that bill. If he can play lower throughout the route, and trust his speed more, he can be relied on as a consistent starter at the next level.
Reynolds would be an ideal fit, especially if the Chargers were to sign a better corner in free agency. If Pagano feels like playing off coverage, Reynolds has shown he has the read and react skills to do so. He can also play press/mirror man coverage, and excel there. His scheme diversity makes me think that he can really help the defense. He would be a guy that San Diego can take with their 3rd round pick, and expect Day 1 results.