Chris Reed Will Help The Vikings’ OL
Bringing Chris Reed to town was a relatively under-the-radar move for the Vikings.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old has been in the NFL since 2015. In that time, he has mostly been a depth option, someone who teams have relied on to push their starter and fill-in when necessary.
Minnesota may have similar plans for Reed, and yet it wouldn’t be surprising to see him snag one of the starting five spots. Last year, he filled in at both LG and RG for the Colts. His 522 snaps along the offensive line translated to a 67.2 PFF score, the 38th best mark among 82 guards. In other words, his performance last year landed him among the league’s top half of guards.
Folks, that’s a lot more than what could be said about the recent play at RG. Ezra Cleveland, in all likelihood, will remain the starter at LG. It’s the spot opposite Cleveland that needs the attention.
Toward the end of last season, Sports Illustrated published a piece titled “Film Room: Chris Reed Steps Up When Needed (Again).” In this piece, readers will learn about Reed’s toughness and physicality, traits that likely endear him to the Vikings leadership. Take a look at this quote:
It’s always pretty interesting to analyze how Reed gets these pancakes. He doesn’t have overwhelming strength, and his arm length prevents him from getting on top of defenders quickly.
Where he does win is with his pad level and constant leg drive. He stays low as he fires out of his stance, and he keeps his legs driving throughout the entire play. When he is able to line up a defender just right, he more often than not finishes them.
He simply outworks defenders in the trenches. If he catches a defender stopping their feet for a second, he puts them in the ground. This has always been one of the more enjoyable things to watch whenever he touches the field.
That kind of effort will make him a fan favorite. The piece goes on to detail Reed’s “great” athleticism and his “nasty finish” in pass pro. One of the concluding thoughts is that Reed was a great signing: “Chris Reed has been an outstanding addition to this team and has performed his role at a high level.” What I’m trying to suggest, folks, is that the Vikings may have gotten a good one.
He has a $1.75 million hit in 2022, a number that grows to $2.75 million in 2023. If Chris Reed demonstrates similar abilities to what he demonstrated in Indy, the Vikings will be very happy to pay that number.
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