Temple linebacker Haason Reddick has seen his stock rise drastically since the Senior Bowl. This weekend, he absolutely dominated the NFL Combine, potentially vaulting his stock into the mid-first round range. While this is great news for Reddick, it’s potentially bad news for several teams at the end of the first round who have their eyes on him.
One of these teams, of course, is the New England Patriots. The Patriots may be looking for another do-it-all type of linebacker if Dont’a Hightower signs with another team. Reddick can certainly be that type of player. He played defensive end at Temple, then seamlessly kicked to inside linebacker for the Senior Bowl. On top of that, he played safety when he first arrived at Temple. Reddick has displayed the intelligence, coverage aptitude, and pass-rushing skills to be a perfect Bill Belichick linebacker.
However, the Patriots may have to trade up into the late teens or early 20s if they hope to land Reddick. His performance at the combine certainly helped his draft stock, as he looked spectacular. Working out with the defensive linemen, despite being considered a linebacker at the next level, Reddick dominated. Within his positional group, Reddick was:
- 1st in the 40-yard dash (4.52)
- 3rd in the vertical jump (36.5″)
- 1st in the broad jump (11’1″)
- 7th in the 3-cone drill (7.01).
In addition to being extremely versatile, Reddick is evidently a top-shelf athlete. The general consensus now is that Reddick is a legitimate first round draft prospect. With several linebacker-needy teams, such as the Chiefs and Steelers, lying just ahead of them, the Patriots appear unlikely to have a shot at Reddick.
Perhaps this won’t matter if the Patriots trade their first round pick for Brandin Cooks, or if they use Jimmy Garoppolo to acquire a higher first round selection. For now, it will be interesting to see if this changes how the first round is expected to play out. The Patriots have other needs, but they may try to trade up as they did for Hightower in 2012. If Bill Belichick thinks highly of him, which is appearing more likely, he won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.