FLORHAM PARK, NJ — When Jets general manager Mike Tannnenbaum mentions you in a pre-draft press conference, you know you’re on their radar. Granted, his name was brought up by members of the New York media, but nonetheless “Trader” Mike and his team referenced Brooks Reed’s name not once, but twice on Thursday.

“For a guy that played down, like a Brooks [Reed], the first thing we’re looking for is can he rush the passer? For a rush linebacker, dropping in coverages is probably only 15% of what he does,” Tannenbaum said Thursday.

“A guy like Brooks or any other guy that may be a little undersized, hopefully you’ve seen them play linebacker a little bit, and he gives you an opportunity, or you see the opportunity to do a lot of different things with him, the versatility the player may have,” Joey Clinkscales, vice president of player scouting, added to Tannenbaum’s word.

That alone is worth putting the Official JetsInsider.com’s Meet the Prospects spotlight on him. A down lineman for his four years at the University of Arizona, Reed has seen his stock rise from a mid-second rounder to a low-end first rounder. His impressive numbers at the combine (see below) and his versatility as an down lineman or standing edge rusher has been the main reason for his sudden rise to first-round projections.

At the Combine Reed ran a 1.54 10-yard split, highest amongst all linebackers. The 10-yard split measures one’s explosiveness off the line and is considered to be one of the most telling statistics for an outside rusher. To match his speed, Reed put up 30 reps in the 225 bench press (1 less than Ryan Kerrigan, 10 more than Aldon Smith and Akeem Ayers). Of course Jets fans still have a sour taste in their mouths the last time their team took a chance on a player who had a great combine (cough-Gholston-cough). However as you will see, unlike the sack-master Gholston, Reed has produced more than one standout collegiate season.

Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona:

  • HEIGHT: 6-3
  • WEIGHT: 262
  • NFL COMPARISON: Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers (more than just the hair)

Collegiate Career: Brooks Reed Career Highlights

  • 2010 — Started all 13 games; 1st-team All Pac-10 honors; 47 tackles (27 solo), 10.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 1 FF
  • 2009 — Played in 10 games, started eight; Team citation for defensive player of the week against ASU; In those eight healthy games (high ankle sprain) he recorded five tackles for loss and two sacks among 23 total hits; Season-high five tackles and two tackles for losses in Territorial Cup game against ASU; Entered year on Hendricks Award and Lombardi Award watch list.
  • 2008 — Started all 13 games; All Pac-10 honorable mention honors; Led the team in sacks (8) and forced fumbles (3); Had 9.5 tackles for losses of 50 yards among 37 total hits; Coaches’ awards for defensive player of the week honors against California and WSU.
  • 2007 — Worked himself into action in the final nine games of 2007, lettering as a backup end and special teams player.
  • 2006 — Red-shirted his freshman year.

The combination of Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas was good, but ineffective at times. Brooks Reed offers value and could pay immediate dividends. (JetsInsider.com Photo).


  • Electric speed off the line to compliment a relentless motor. Can bend the corner very well. Getting after the quarterback is an understatement.
  • A wide array of moves in his repertoire — solid bull rush, can utilize both the spin and rip moves, great closing speed, ability to split double-teams.
  • Intense and tenacious getting after the ball carrier.
  • No off-the-field issues.


  • Size; needs to add weight or else bigger linemen will be able to body him.
  • Straight-line rusher —  weak lateral speed/movement.
  • Has been known to over-pursue the ball carrier.
  • Will be 24-year-old rookie in 2012.

Why the Jets?:

  • Their need for an edge rusher has been dually noted. And despite ESPN’s Todd McShay staying strong with Phil Taylor or another DT, DE/OLB is still the most pressing need for the Jets at this moment.
  • With the lack of depth for quarterbacks this year and the uncertainty regarding free agency, other teams may contact Tannenbaum to trade out of the first round so that they can get their quarterback. The plus for the Jets would be getting a better value for Reed — who is borderline first-rounder — and adding more picks either this year or the following years.
  • When Rex Ryan says he wants players to “play like a Jet” Reed may be the embodiment of that: A hard-nosed, relentless pass-rusher who isn’t easily strayed by outside distractions.

In his own words:

  • “I didn’t really have a position coming in —  I played fullback, tight end, was on the scout team — but eventually all my hard work paid off and I switched over to defensive end. It’s has been one of the best decisions of my college career.”
  • “I’ll play wherever they ask me to play. That’s the goal, play as soon a possible —  just keep working hard until I can play.”

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