What is New York Jets cornerback D.J. Reed bringing to the secondary?

d.j. reed, jets

Early in free agency, the New York Jets signed talented cornerback D.J. Reed. As the Jets entered the 2022 offseason, some projections showed that a big-time corner could be signed. The connection with Reed was always a logical one for two reasons. Jets head coach Robert Saleh was a part of the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff as the defensive coordinator in 2018 when the 49ers drafted Reed. Also, he spent the last two years in a similar defensive scheme with the Seattle Seahawks and excelled.

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Reed’s background

As stated above, the 49ers drafted Reed in the 2018 draft. They selected him in the fifth round. In his two years with the 49ers, Reed played in 31 games. He only had two starts and totaled 485 snaps defensively. During his run with the 49ers, Reed was a part of a Super Bowl team. In August of 2020, the 49ers waived Reed, and shortly after, he was claimed by the Seahawks.

Throughout his two years with the Seahawks, Reed started in 22 games, 14 of which were last year. He totaled 17 passes defended, with 10 in 2021. Each season with the Seahawks, he recorded two interceptions. Reed competed against top wide receivers in 2021 and had a breakout year in coverage.

What Reed brings to the Jets

Reed has a unique frame. He is smaller than the prototypical size for an outside cornerback at 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds. However, he has very long arm length at 31 5/8″. Pair the length with the physicality Reed plays with, and it allows him to thrive as an outside cornerback. His playing speed is good, and he has great agility. Lastly, Reed is a willing run-stopper.

Reed has expressed his optimism for the Jets’ chances. He is a player who shows great passion on the field. Since joining the Jets, Reed has spoken on his excitement for his teammates. Overall, he possesses the right intangibles to help turn the Jets’ culture around.

Reed is still only 25-years-old and should be just entering his prime. He has the opportunity to be a key piece to the future of the Jets at an impact position. Reed played like a number one cornerback last year. With Sauce Gardner, the Jets could potentially have two number ones on the outside over time. Also, with Michael Carter II in the slot as a promising second-year player, the Jets may have a great cornerback trio for years to come.