1.18 San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid, S, LSU (6-1¼, 213)
With the eighteenth selection in this year’s NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select safety Eric Reid from LSU. I think the phrase the rich get richer applies here. The 49ers had a hole in the defense after Dashon Goldson left for Tampa Bay and Eric Reid is the guy to fill it at free safety. A hard worker on and off the field, Reid shined in the LSU secondary over the course of his career there, becoming one of the main team leaders. He has excellent instincts that allow him to get a consistent jump on the ball in the secondary. This guy is not the most explosive player, but has the top-end speed to maintain coverage in the deep secondary and when playing in run support. He uses his length and size well in the coverage of receivers and tight ends. He is better at zone defense than at man. He struggled in 2012 when compared to 2011, but still produced solid numbers across the board.
The 49ers want guys that are consistent tacklers that stay on the field on every down and in every situation. They rarely substitute players on defense throughout the game. Reid seems like a guy that can play every down from the free safety position due to his high level of skill and overall athleticism. The 49ers moved up from the 31st selection to this spot. What resulted is the team got another potential stud for their already very stingy defense.