OWINGS MILLS – The Baltimore Ravens coveted Central Florida sleeper offensive tackle Jah Reid enough that they traded up five spots in the third round to acquire him.
The Ravens sent their third-round (90th overall) and sixth-round selections (191st overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles to draft an All-Conference USA blocker regarded as a rising draft prospect in scouting circles.
The Ravens plan to have the 6-foot-7, 330-pounder compete immediately for a starting job at right tackle.
"He’s young, he’s a little bit developmental, but I think he’s going to develop fast," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "This is a guy we all liked. He’s big, he can bend. He’s very physical and he’s on the upswing. He’ll be competing for the right tackle spot right out of the gates, and we’ll see where it goes.
"He’s kind of mean. He’s a tough, hard-nosed player. On the right side, he’s a guy that could be a run-blocker. He’s long and powerful. I thought he had good feet and good body control and balance to be pass-protection guy, too. He’s not one-dimensional. I think he’s a young, upcoming offensive tackle that has got a great upside. He’s got a great punch."
Reid caught the attention of general manager Ozzie Newsome at the East-West Shine all-star game.
Reid weighed as much as 375 pounds when he arrived at Central Florida, but shined against the University of Georgia when he blocked star outside linebacker Justin Houston.
"He’s a guy that as the spring unfolded became someone that started to rise up our board," Newsome said. "I don’t think you can ever have too many good tackles."
Reid started since his freshman year.
He was a second-team all-state selection in high school growing up in Haines City, Fla.
He’s considered an ascending player.
"He’s just a guy that really gained some steam," Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta said. "Sometimes at these other schools in Florida, these kids are late bloomers. I think Jah is a late bloomer. He’s 6-7 about 325 pounds and honestly he could probably be about 340, 345. We think he has a lot of potential to be a really good player. He’s a smart kid. He’s a tough kid. He’s got natural right tackle size and strength."
Draft analysts contradict the Ravens’ scouting report.
According to CBS Sports, Reid, "does not possess a mean streak, lacks violent punch at the point of attack. Plays very high and back on his heels, allowing defenders to gain early leverage and get under his pads. Waist-bender awkwardly attempts to sit into his stance and often loses balance when trying to mirror opponents. Struggles with hand placement, allows rushers into his body. Lumbers in space and does not consistently break down when asked to make a block."
Nonetheless, Reid is regarded as the kind of linemen worth investing time and effort into.
"I think he’s very underrated," ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. "Jah Reid has a chance to be a starter in this league."
The Ravens weren’t alone in liking Reid.
A lot of NFL teams had high grades on him.
"You talk to some guys and throughout the spring, there was a buzz on him a little bit," director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said. "He stands out just standing there. He’s a huge man. He’s big, tough and smart. So, those are three good qualities for an offensive lineman."