Prospect Preview: Ed Reynolds S Stanford

By Draft Lead Philip Arnold @PhilipArnold20

SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily

Ed Reynolds Safety Stanford

6-2 205 lbs. Junior.

47 Tackles, 6 INT, 16 PBU. Named to the 2013 Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List.  Third Team All-American selection and first team All-PAC 12 in 2012. Returned three INTs for a touchdown, which is a Stanford record.  

Game Notes vs. Oregon State 4 tackles, 2 PBU

  • Reynolds plays free safety for Stanford. Stanford is playing mainly Cover 1, with Reynolds as a free safety and a mix between Cover 4 and 2.
  • Man Coverage: In this game Reynolds wasn’t manned up with receivers, but when Stanford went into Cover 1 he was free. Reynolds does a good job of reading the QBs eyes as a free safety and making a break on the ball. When he is free he does a good job of coming quickly out of breaks and providing help over the top for his defenders. Reynolds’ quickness and sharp angles out of breaks put him in a good positioning for Interceptions.
  • Zone Coverage: Reynolds once again is quick out of breaks and doesn’t allow receivers behind him while in zone coverage. In zone coverage, Reynolds plays deep and keeps everything in front of him. Though he doesn’t get beat deep, it does allow windows for the quarterback to throw into.
  • Against the run: Like it was stated in zone coverage Reynolds plays from deep (nearly 15 yards off the LOS). On run plays, he at times is slow to come into the picture. Reynolds makes too many tackles passed the second level, mainly due to the fact that he is so far off the ball. When the ball got into the redzone and the safeties were closer to the LOS, Reynolds did a nice job of reading, and filling up quickly.
  • Ball Skills: Reynolds took some great angles and had nice burst out of his breaks to put him in positions for a interception. Reynolds dropped two interceptions in this game. One went right through his hands, the other a teammate ran into him as he broke. It was impressive seeing Reynolds be able to read the QB getting ready to throw and step in front of the receiver on a post route.
  • Play that stood out: 2 down and 8 to go. Oregon State has the ball in the third quarter and is driving into Stanford territory. Stanford is in a Cover 6 defense and Reynolds is playing the Cover 2 portion. Oregon State will run a play-action crossing pattern and the #2 receiver from the opposite side of the formation will cross into his zone on a post route. As Reynolds diagnoses the play he keeps the receivers in front of him and reads the quarterback. As Reynolds begins to see the Quarterback release his hand into his throwing motion, Reynolds plants and bursts out of his break. When the ball is in the air, Reynolds because of his break, is able to step in front of the WR and nearly force an interception. This play highlights Reynolds’ ability to read and break quickly on the ball.

Game Notes vs. UCLA PAC 12 Championship 4 Tackles, 1 INT

  • Like Oregon State, Reynolds plays free safety with a lot of cover 1 and cover 2 man under concepts. Reynolds does a lot of roaming in the back of the Stanford defense and is very active.
  • Coverage: Like the Oregon State game Reynolds never played any true man. Reynolds was always the free man in cover 1 and cover 2 man under. In 2 man under Reynolds was able to put himself together an interception. When he is free he roams a lot and does a lot of reading of the QB, Brett Hundley’s, eyes. Thought Reynolds was quick out of breaks and has a good first step out of those breaks.
  • Against the run: Reynolds struggled against the run in this game. At times he read quickly, saw an alley and played down hill quickly. The biggest problem Reynolds faced with this though, was his ability to make a play. He took poor angles and missed too many tackles. Reynolds was caught off balance and had his feet stopped.
  • Ball Skills: Reynolds showed off his ball skills on a interception which he returned for a touchdown. He reached out on a stop route by the receiver and stepped in front. He showed his ability as a playmaker to return it for a touchdown weaving his way down the field.
  • Play that stood out:  2 down and 16 to go. UCLA comes out in a trips to the field set. Stanford is in a cover 2 press man underneath coverage and Reynolds is to the weakside as a FS. Hundley looks weak the whole play and Reynolds recognizes. As Reynolds begins to see Hundley begin his throwing motion, he breaks on the ball. His angle and recognition allow Reynolds to step in front of the pass and return it down the field for a touchdown.

What Reynolds does well

Reynolds is free safety who plays with range, aggressive instincts and doesn’t let anything behind him. Reynolds is at his best when he is reading the quarterback and making a break on the ball. He has a quick burst and good first step out of his breaks closing passing lanes and windows for the quarterback. Pairing that with the angles Reynolds takes, allows him to make plays on the ball. Reynolds contains good awareness for the free safety position and understands route concepts. He is at his best when he reads when the quarterback begins his throwing motion and makes a break putting him in position for a big play.

What Reynolds needs to improve

Though Reynolds is a good center field type free safety, he is rarely tested in man coverage. Reynolds needs to continue to improve his ability in supporting the run. He is too inconsistent in the three biggest categories; Burst into the alley, angles and tackling. Reynolds needs to improve his ability as an open field tackler. He is often caught flat footed and off balance allowing ball carriers to easily make a cut.

Top Matchups

9/21 vs. Arizona State

10/05 at. Washington

10/19 vs. UCLA

11/07 vs. Oregon

Continue to follow the PFC Prospect Previews bringing you a new preview everyday. You can see the most recent previewed in this series, Aaron Colvin CB from Oklahoma. All videos used for this prospect are courtesy of draftbreakdown.com and their player video database.