The Denver Broncos got lucky when Malik Reed went undrafted out of Nevada. The Broncos were fortunate because the edge rusher should have been drafted.
In college, and even still after two years in the NFL, Reed's run defense can be problematic. His strength was always as a pass rusher and that was evident in his 145 total QB pressures and 24 total sacks with 18 of them in his final two collegiate seasons.
Reed was used out of a 3-point stance often, which was clunky, but standing him up as a rush linebacker was perfect for him. With NFL two years under his belt, he's nearing unrestricted free agency and could command a good contract if he sustains his play as a productive pass rusher.
However, the big area Reed has to improve if he really wants a big deal is as a run defender. He needs to get stronger at the point of attack where opposing offensive linemen can’t just get into his frame and drive him around. If he can really improve there, it'll help the Broncos' defense as a whole and could lead to a lucrative extension.
Another help for Reed will be having both Von Miller and Bradley Chubb stay healthy all year. With those two around (hopefully), Reed will see fewer snaps, but he has a chance to be a lot more effective as a player.
Effectiveness and production really matter as a pass rusher. Reed will make this roster as the third outside linebacker, but it doesn’t seem likely he'll be with the Broncos beyond this season because of the potential cost for a valued position that has produced.
Be sure to check out the video above for an in-depth look at Reed's 2021 prospects!
Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!