September 15, 2012; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers safety Eric Reid (1) raises his arms to the crowd as the Tigers take the field against the Idaho Vandals during the first half at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Idaho 63-14. Mandatory Credit: Crystal Logiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Why There Is Already Tremendous Pressure On 49ers S Eric Reid

When the San Francisco 49ers traded up in the first-round to draft FS Eric Reid (LSU), it was a strategic move to replace All-Pro FS Dashon Goldson (Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Whether they were actually targeting S Kenny Vaccaro (Texas) and decided to settle on Reid remains to be seen, however Reid will now have every opportunity to step in the starting role.

Unlike last year’s first-round pick WR A.J. Jenkins, there is little depth at the safety position, meaning Reid will be thrown to the fire. A trial by error, learn as you go, type of experience, Reid will have to adjust quickly to the NFL, if he hopes to have any chance of success. The game is faster and the players are smarter, making the transition a tough one.

One strength working in Reid’s favor is that he is an NFL ready rookie. He is very smart, physical, and aggressive, similar to another former first-round pick CB Ahmed Plummer (2000), Reid has the football instincts to succeed at the next level. And although he may not be the best ballhawk in the draft, he more than makes up for it with his football IQ. A smart player, Reid will not have the mental lapses in coverage.

Even though Reid possesses the natural instincts, will that be enough to alleviate the loss of Goldson? The verdict is still out, as training camp and OTA’s have yet to begin, but make no mistake, the Reid watch is already in motion.

Let’s just hope he does not have the learning curve of Jenkins, as the Niners simply can’t afford that type of waiting period.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft A.J. Jenkins Eric Reid San Francisco 49ers

  • All Coug’d Up

    I would venture to guess that you can’t replace a Goldston in the first season as a rookie. You can only be what you are and solidify the position. Because of the talent around him, I think Reid will be just fine and blossoming by week 5 or 6. What you worry about is down the stretch will he get worn down as rookies are known to do.

  • niner4life

    it will be interesting if reid starts the year or if they go with the veteran dahl. the first quarter of the season is very hard

  • RJS77

    I expect Reid to start at free safety during this entire season, especially after he gets coached up by the best over the next few months. He will soon be surpassing Goldson’s performance as he is also an excellent run stuffer, but as you mentioned he has better coverage skills, he is a strong leader and he is a very hard worker plus he is quite intelligent. His ability to cover larger, tight end sized receivers will be very valuable. I think the 49ers draft board had Reid as their #1 safety as they had plenty of extra picks to move up to select whomever they wanted. Reid will be expected to start, whereas Jenkins was always viewed as a player that would red shirt his first year. I am excited about seeing both of them contributing on the field this year!

  • niner4life

    i hope you are right and reid will be up to speed by the first game. we need to get a quick start to this season expecially against our nfc rivals. given the coverage errors last year between the cornerbacks and the safeties it will be interesting to see how adding a new player to the mix pans out. i know whitner is very valuable as the guy setting the formations on defense but his inability to handle wr or te coming up the seams in the red zone is frustrating to watch. i wonder if the coachs have a better game plan this year.