First, let’s take a moment to comprehend the world we live in. The San Francisco 49ers made a trade with the Dallas Cowboys, which shows that as times change, rivalries also change. The 49ers moved up to No. 18 in the 2013 NFL Draft and picked the guy they wanted: Eric Reid. In return, the Cowboys got the 49ers’ first round pick (No. 31) and the 74th pick overall (a third rounder they got from Carolina for the 49ers’ fourth round pick last year).
Forget what Trent Baalke said about teams not drafting for need last week. The 49ers were clearly weakest at safety compared to every other position, and Reid will be expected to start right away. A couple things jump out when taking a look at Reid’s physical characteristics: he’s 6′ 1 5/8″ with 33 5/8-inch arms. While much of the conversation centered on the small, fast receivers entering the NFC West this offseason (Percy Harvin to the Seahawks, Tavon Austin to the Rams), the 49ers aren’t forgetting how bad they looked against Julio Jones last season.
Reid is also fast (4.53) and can jump (11′ 2″ broad jump; 40.5-inch vertical). Maybe that’s why he had nine pass deflections in 2012. Kenny Vaccaro is also tall, but Reid is faster (Vacarro, who went to the Saints at No. 15, ran a 4.63). Does height, length and leaping ability matter? Sometimes …
Reid’s main weakness — according to several draft analysts, anyway — is that he’s too aggressive. But isn’t that a coach’s dream? “This large and athletic player is just too energetic and passionate, which means I’ll have to teach him how to play football correctly.” Merry Christmas to Ed Donatell, 49ers defensive backs coach.
Jim Harbaugh is such a powerful presence that it’s surprising how much attention Trent Baalke receives. He was voted Executive of the Year in 2011, the same year he traded up for Colin Kaepernick because Harbaugh dug his feet in the ground and forced the issue when others wanted Andy Dalton. Now the 49ers are trading up for another one of Harbaugh’s draft crushes:
What does this mean? Reid is intelligent, otherwise Harbaugh wouldn’t have wasted his time trying to get him to come to The Farm. Also, when Harbaugh wants a guy … he gets him. And the guy Harbaugh wanted was the Honey Badger’s teammate.