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Brock Huard’s 2018 NFL Draft preview: Stanford S Justin Reid

Stanford S Justin Reid led the Pac-12 in interceptions (5) last year. (AP)

Each day, Brock Huard is profiling a different draft prospect that he considers an early-round possibility for the Seahawks. His draft previews continue with Stanford S Justin Reid. The audio is embedded above.

Seahawks’ biggest question marks for 2018: Part 1 | Part 2

Position: S
Height/weight: 6-1, 204
Class: Jr.
Hometown: Prairieville, LA

Scouting report: In three years at Stanford, Reid recorded 170 combined tackles, six interceptions, and one sack. Five of those interceptions came in 2017, putting him atop the Pac-12 in picks. Reid was named to the All-Pac-12 first team and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (given to the best defensive back in college football). Reid’s older brother is Pro Bowl safety Eric Reid, who was a first-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2013.

Brock’s take: “Once again, I feel fortunate that I have seen him a few different times on the college football road. I remember his freshman year he played a little bit of corner. This last year when he was an all-conference performer and led the Pac-12 with five interceptions, he had switched over to the safety position. Stanford is a little different, not necessarily a single-safety kind of team… they like to play those two safeties interchangeably. And I know the question that’s going to come, because in Seattle it’s a little different: well, is he a free safety and he’s Earl Thomas’ replacement, or is a strong safety and is he Kam Chancellor’s replacement? Because those two positions in Seattle are so clearly defined and have been for almost a decade by two of the very best in the game who bring different skillsets. Well, this kid is in between; he’s a little bit of both of them. He runs really well. In fact, he had the second-fastest 40 time among the safeties at the combine and he also jumps very well, 36-inch vertical, so he’s an explosive kid.

“At 6-1, 205, he’s not Kam Chancellor. If he were 6-1, 220, I think you’d be talking about a top-15 pick. I think you’d be talking about Kam Chancellor’s replacement… but man, is he ever versatile.”

“Where he is a little bit challenged though is actually the coverage, because he’s got the want-to in the run game to come down and finish. If he’s sitting there at No. 18, is he the guy the Seahawks draft at 18? No. But is he in for a visit today in Seattle because if they do trade down (he’s) a guy you take early in the second round? Yeah, I think he becomes a consideration there. In the second round, he becomes an incredibly intriguing prospect.”

How he’d fit: The Seahawks have some question marks in the secondary, but the biggest holes remain on the defensive line. Remember, this team took four defensive backs in last year’s draft: CB Shaquill Griffin, S Delano Hill, S Tedric Thompson, and S Michael Tyson. And in a recent interview with Brock and Salk, Seahawks’ general manager John Schneider encouraged disheartened fans to “trust the process” and see what these young players have to offer (he cited Thompson, specifically, as a standout on special teams).

Reid is a promising talent and would appear to be a natural fit for the Seahawks, who are clearly interested in the young prospect. However, if Reid slips into the second round, it’s unlikely he’ll be there long. The Seahawks are (currently) without a second-round pick, and may not be able to afford using their highest pick on a safety.