San Francisco 49ers, 18th Overall Selection:
Eric Reid, Safety, Louisiana State
6'1, 213 lbs.
The 49ers are short handed in the secondary, primarily at safety where they lost Goldson and Whitner isn't a shadow of his former self. Reid can step right in and make an immediate impact, he has the size, skills, and tangibles to be a potential pro-bowl talent. Watching him through college, an honest and fair rookie comparison would be Eric Turner.
There was no other player the 49ers should have selected with the 18th overall selection. They had a need at safety and the BPA was Reid, thus they moved up and made an excellent pick. They later used their second round pick on Carradine, thus bolstering its defensive line as a replacement for Smith.
Eric Reid has the potential to be the best 49ers safety since Ronnie Lott, that's not comparing him to Lott, but rather the fact they haven't had a great safety since then, and now have that dynamic in Eric Reid. Reid is a hard hitter who also covers well in space within zone coverage, and knows how to judge the opposing QBs' eyes and properly respond. His field vision is exceptional, and is recovery when beaten is not an issue.
He doesn't have soft hands but he makes up for that with sheer bone jarring hits. At 213 lbs., he's going to have a tough rookie season unless he bulks up during the offseason, but the kid lives in the gym and stays glued to the defensive playbook. The 49ers made an excellent pick, and will reap the benefits for years.