Brooks Reed Facing Unfair Comparisons to Tedy Bruschi, Clay Matthews, But Patriots May Still Be Interested

Brooks Reed Facing Unfair Comparisons to Tedy Bruschi, Clay Matthews, But Patriots May Still Be InterestedArizona defensive end Brooks Reed has jumped up the draft board after a string of great pre-draft workouts, and he is being labeled with some unfair comparisons as a result.

Because of his alma mater and his conversion to linebacker, Reed is being called a Tedy Bruschi-type. And because Reed is a pass rusher with long hair, many want to label him as the next Clay Matthews.

Those are some hefty — and perhaps unrealistic — expectations to live up to, but the Patriots might be intrigued to find out if it’s possible.

Key Stats
The 6-foot-3, 263-pounder had 6.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 47 tackles, two pass breakups and one forced fumble as a senior. He had 17 career sacks at Arizona.

Why the Patriots Would Want Him
Reed, who ran a 4.65-second 40 at the combine, has upper-level speed for an outside linebacker, and he’s got good explosion, too. While his sack totals weren’t tremendous for a first-round prospect, he might benefit from standing up in the 3-4 as opposed to his spot in the 4-3. Reed is considered a solid pass rusher with a good motor and skills to keep improving at the next level.

Why the Patriots Might Stay Away
The outside linebacker position isn’t strong at the top of the draft, and Reed’s stock could be rising due to a severe lack of competition after Von Miller. So, does he have a first-round grade, or is he creeping into the first round based on positional need? If it’s the latter, the Patriots have proven they won’t outspend the pick’s value that high in the draft.

Potential Impact in 2011
Because Reed will be changing positions, it will take him a little while to find a steady amount of playing time, especially if his growth is stunted by the lockout. He’ll be in a rotation with outside linebackers Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich and Tully Banta-Cain.

What The Locals Are Saying
Reed is one of six Wildcats who could be drafted this week.

Where Can the Patriots Expect to Draft Reed?
Reed will likely be available in the 28-33 range, but the Patriots probably wouldn’t take him until early in the second round, whether it’s with the 33rd pick or a little later after a potential trade.

Each day in April, NESN.com spotlighted one player the Patriots could draft with one of their first three picks. Check out the previous 27 players below.

Friday, April 1: California defensive end Cameron Jordan 
Saturday, April 2: North Carolina defensive end/outside linebacker Robert Quinn  
Sunday, April 3: Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward 
Monday, April 4: Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones 
Tuesday, April 5: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara 
Wednesday, April 6: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
Thursday, April 7: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
Friday, April 8: Florida interior lineman Mike Pouncey  
Saturday, April 9: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi 
Sunday: April 10: Georgia defensive end/outside linebacker Justin Houston 
Monday, April 11: Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers 
Tuesday, April 12: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt 
Wednesday, April 13: UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers
Thursday, April 14: USC tackle Tyron Smith
Friday, April 15: Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor
Saturday, April 16: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod 
Sunday, April 17: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
Monday, April 18: Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure 
Tuesday, April 19: Villanova offensive lineman Benjamin Ijalana 
Wednesday, April 20: Temple defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson
Thursday, April 21: Purdue defensive end/outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan 
Friday, April 22: Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin
Saturday, April 23: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
Sunday, April 24: Baylor guard Danny Watkins
Monday, April 25, Illinois defensive lineman Corey Liuget
Tuesday, April 26: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn
Thursday, April 28: Arizona defensive end/linebacker Brooks Reed

Photo via Flickr/Derek Harrison

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