Haason Reddick might be the most interesting evaluation in the 2017 NFL Draft.
He came to Temple University as a walk-on defensive back, grew into an (undersized) edge rusher, and will likely be drafted with the intention of converting him into a linebacker. He is also one of the most athletic defenders in the draft, and his history gives him a lot of tools to use at the next level.
The New York Giants could use both an upgrade at linebacker and a fast edge rusher. After reportedly hoping to draft Leonard Floyd to fill those needs in 2016, they might be interested in Temple’s Reddick in 2017.
Height - 6 feet, 2 inches
Weight - 237 pounds
40 Time - 4.54 (projected)
- Highly athletic, “twitched up” defender.
- Able to rush the passer from a two or three point stance.
- Disruptive. Able to get after the passer and run down running backs in the backfield. Totaled 10.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss in 2016.
- Scheme diverse, will be able to find a home in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense.
- Able to drop into coverage, and athletic enough to run with most offensive players.
- Reportedly performed well at inside linebacker at the Senior Bowl while still being a dominant pass rusher in 1-on-1 drills.
- Fluid athlete who can play in space, bend the edge as a rusher, or be a threat as an inside rusher on twists or blitzes.
- Too small to stay a full-time edge rusher in the pros.
- Will likely have to transition to inside or weakside linebacker in the NFL, which could give more cautious teams pause.
- Doesn’t have the size to regularly deal with blockers in the run game.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
This is an interesting question, and I’ll answer it with a “Yes, but they’d need a plan for him.”
While Reddick doesn’t have the same kind of length as Leonard Floyd, he does have the same kind of athleticism. He is able to fire off the ball, and run right past an unwary blocker, but also has the ability to drop in coverage.
Reddick could probably be employed by the Giants in the same manner as they had envisioned using Floyd before the 2016 draft. As a weak-side linebacker, protected from blockers by the Giants’ stout defensive line, he would be able to use his prodigious athleticism to “clean up” running plays, drop in coverage over the middle, or put his pass rushing experience to good use as a blitzer.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - N/A
Mocking The Draft - N/A
CBS Sports - 31st overall
Draft Countdown - 63rd overall
Draft Tek - 59th overall
Reddick is going to be a fascinating prospect to follow through the draft process. His size would be extremely limiting if he were to stay at defensive end or rush linebacker. However at the Senior Bowl he showed the ability to be an off-ball linebacker and play effectively in space.
While teams will have to project him into their system and make their evaluation based on what they think he COULD be, Reddick has the talent and impressively diverse tool belt to take a lot of fear out of that projection. An off-ball linebacker with considerable experience and upside as a pass rusher is the kind of player who will tempt NFL teams and get defensive coordinators thinking about what they could do with him.