This is the first in a series of film breakdowns of players that the Dolphins could draft with the 22nd overall pick next week.
Haason Reddick thought he and football had broken up for good.
Reddick suffered a series of knee injuries in high school, making him toxic to college recruiters.
Reddick, a running back and safety during his prep years, didn’t get a scholarship offer after his senior year at Haddon Heights in New Jersey. He believed his career was over before it even began. Reddick had no idea that walking on was even a thing.
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“It just so happened my father, he was poking around, trying to see if there was any way I could get on the football team, and [Temple asssistant] coach Francis Brown, he’s at Baylor now, but he was on the first staff when I got there — we knew him from back home,” Reddick said at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine. “He was a good friend of my uncle, my father. I actually did a couple workouts with him. He was coaching DBs back then. He got me on as a preferred walk-on. From there on out, there goes my career at Temple.”
Did it ever.
Reddick has gone from shunned to star in just five years. He switched from defensive back to linebacker, and has barely been blocked since. Reddick’s 22.5 tackles for loss last year ranked third in the nation, and helped lead the Owls to their first conference championship in five decades.
Unless his hometown Eagles draft him next week, Reddick’s football home will be outside the mid-Atlantic for the first time in 2017. Might he shoot 1,000 miles or so down I-95? The Dolphins both have a need for a pass rusher and real interest in his services.
But is Reddick a good fit? Let’s check the tape, thanks as always to Dolphins blogger and film study ace Max Himmelrich.
Weight: 237 pounds.
Arm length: 32 3/4 inches.
Hands: 10 1/8 inches.
40 time: 4.52 seconds.
Bench press: 24 reps.
Vertical jump: 36.5 inches.
Broad jump: 133 inches.
Three-cone drill: 7.01 seconds.
20-yard shuffle: 4.37 seconds.
SPARQ score: 141.3, 94.8th percentile, second among draft-eligible edge rushers.
Pro: Reddick does have incredible movement ability. He's smooth in any direction and shows great body control. He ran a sub-4.6 40-yard dash in Indy and tested very well in the three-cone drill (83rd percentile of EDGE players per Mockdraftable). On tape he shows intelligence in coverage, combining his football IQ with the physical gifts to close on offensive players and make tackles.
Cons: Haason Reddick doesn't project to the NFL as a true EDGE linebacker. He'd be a great option on the weak side, and he'd be able to contribute in coverage, but he isn't going to be an every-down wrecking ball rushing the QB. He doesn't have a ton of tape in college as an outside linebacker, so it's mostly potential based.
Fit for the Dolphins: Coaches will drool over the potential of turning Reddick into a sideline-to-sideline force, but based on Miami's needs, he might not be the best pick at No. 22. The secondary will have to be addressed, and currently the best way to help the back end of the defense could be adding more pass rushers. With options like Jordan Willis likely to be available, Miami might be better off using their resources there. However, nobody in Miami should be disappointed if the Dolphins do opt for Haason Reddick; there's enough natural ability there that I think coaches will be able to turn him into a playmaker that the team lacks in the linebacker corps.