The Bengals made headlines plenty yesterday after visiting with Joe Mixon and agreeing in principle with Brandon LaFell to a two-year extension. One nugget that went overlooked is that Bengals’ linebacker coach Jim Haslett was in attendance and worked Reddick out in drills at Temple’s Pro Day. This leaves absolutely no doubt that Haslett was there to evaluate potential first round linebacker Haason Reddick.
Reddick is making the transition to linebacker at the pro level after playing mostly defensive end in college. Red duck recorded 9.5 sacks and 65 tackles in 2016. At 6-1 237, Reddick is likely to covert to a 4-3 weak outside linebacker, but has the size to play either three of the linebacker spots for the Bengals. Although Reddick primarily rusher the passer, he also has decent coverage skills from his experience playing safety in high school. Reddick was able to display at the Senior Bowl the ability to transition and was one of the most exciting guys at the event.
The Bengals are said to be looking for an athletic linebacker and that is exactly what Reddick is. Haason recorded a 4.52 40-time, 4.37 20-yard shuttle, and a 36.5 vertical jump this past weekend at the NFL combine. If that’s not enough, Reddick has been compared to Ryan Shazier and Jamie Collins.
The fact that the Bengals are intrigued with Reddick should put fans on notice. Reddick could be an alternate option if Rueben Foster is selected earlier than their pick at no. 9 or if Reddick were to fall to the second round. He seems to fit they exact traits the Bengals are looking for on defense at linebacker.
His athleticism, pass rushing & coverage skills are definitely abilities that make him stand out. The Bengals surely had a good look at him during the Senior Bowl and at Temple’s Pro Day and have shown by their actions that they are interested.