Jeremy Reaves (CB, South Alabama) – 59

There are players in every draft class for whom you develop a sneaking affection when you watch them on tape and, for me, Jeremy Reaves is one.  The reason is this: Reaves is one of the most physical CBs I have ever seen.  This man loves to hit receivers and comes at them like an exocet missile carrying a grievance.  He is 5-11, 185lb but he can hit like a 6-2, 235lb linebacker.  I loved the play he made against Nicholls State (1Q, 6:59), when he flies into the hole to destroy a running play and prevent a 3rd down; it’s one of my favourite plays I’ve seen watching film this year.  Yes, he can be reckless, yes, he can over-extend and miss tackles (3Q, 9:43, Idaho game) but, in a world in which Akhello Witherspoon and Tarvaris McFadden are either being paid or going to be paid a lot of money to play CB, watching Reaves hit makes a refreshing change.  Now the bad news, : Reaves is not a great coverage guy.  He does not turn his hips well at all and, as a result, really struggles with quicker, more agile WRs.  South Alabama have lined him up as nickel-backer, free safety and boundary corner to enable him to make hits and not get too exposed one-on-one but he doesn’t have the size or range to play safety in the NFL.  Ultimately, though, I don’t care if he ever plays a snap in the defensive secondary; this is a guy who is made to play all four phases of special teams in the NFL and do it very, very well.  Some people may not see that as a draftable commodity but I disagree.  Personally, I would draft Jeremy Reaves in the 6th or 7th round because he is a tone-setter, a tackling machine and someone I would want on my team.

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