The pick is finally in and the San Francisco 49ers have chosen safety Eric Reid with the 18th-overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. By giving up the 31st- and 74th-overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys, the former LSU Tiger fills a need for the 49ers.
Reid will attempt to replace the recently departed Dashon Goldson, and looks to help Jim Harbaugh’s ball club from day one. Reid was the second safety taken off the board.
With the 49ers needing help in the secondary, Reid is a solid pick. Even though he might have been available in the late first or second round, general manager Trent Baalke clearly likes what he sees. Standing at 6’1’’, 213 pounds, Reid is an aggressive tackler who sets the tone on defense. He can also hold his own in the run game with his nose for the ball carrier and physical style of play. Losing Goldson hurts the 49ers’ defensive backfield, but Reid’s addition should cushion his departure to some degree.
Although Reid is a quality player, he has a tendency to take bad angles and missteps. While his aggressive style of play brings its share of positives, it can work against him at times. Instead of making the sure tackle, he’d go for the knockout hit. Given his size and athleticism, he’s skilled in batting down passes. However, his coverage ability still needs needs work.
But after dissecting the overall package and what can be expected out of him, Harbaugh and his coaching staff should turn Reid into a productive contributor. Working beside veterans Donte Whitner, Craig Dahl and Carlos Rogers, Reid is in a favorable situation to succeed as a rookie.