The Arizona Cardinals had a pretty good defense last season. In many cases the defense did all it could to hold up it’s end of the bargain, but it was simply the offense that let them down. So going into the off-season it was expected that the focus would be on bolstering the offense to try and get to that level.
But what we have seen is the Cardinals defense losing steam along with defensive starters all over the field. This included three starters in the defensive secondary and both starting safeties. So for this spotlight let’s take a look at a potential replacement safety who can play strong safety or free safety in the Cardinals system, and could likely be had in the 2nd round of the NFL draft.
LSU safety Eric Reid is a 2-year full time starter for the Tigers who chose to declare at the end of his junior season. There was a point where Reid was considered the top safety in this draft and a virtual lock for a first round pick.
I never understood the criticisms of Reid’s production, because on some level you understand with the sheer volume of playmakers in front of a safety, and as far off the line of scrimmage Reid played at times big plays were often hard to come by. But at 6-1 and 213lbs with legit 4.5 speed he’s got the size and the range to play a deep FS, or slide into the box and defend the run, something he more as a sophomore than a junior at LSU.
Reid has great instincts and does a very good job diagnosing a play and getting to it in a hurry. He is a bit over zealous at times and can run himself out of the play if he’s not careful, and he must play in control. But his physical gifts are tremendous and his his experience in the SEC counts heavily on his resume’. For the Cardinals, if they can get Reid in the 2nd round, they could simply plug him in at free safety and that position will be taken care of for a long time.