The Denver Broncos needed to add depth to their safety position and did so by adding J.R. Reed.
OFFICIAL: We've agreed to terms with S J.R. Reed.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) March 21, 2022
Reed (26) went undrafted in 2020 out of the University of Georgia. Before the 2020 season, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Rams. Reed appeared in 15 NFL contests with the Rams before he was signed off Los Angeles’s practice squad by the New York Giants. Overall, Reed has played in 16 games across two seasons with zero starts.
Reed has experience playing under Broncos new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who was previously the secondary coach for the Rams.
Before his time in the NFL, Reed was a standout for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Reed finished his college career with multiple accolades. He was a team captain for the 2019 campaign and his play on the field earned him a spot on the Walter Camp All-American First Team and Coaches’ All-SEC First Team.
Reed was also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the college football’s top defensive back. However, he suffered an injury near the end of his final season and missed the Bulldog’s Sugar Bowl win. In his Bulldog career, he played in 42 games, recorded 199 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 3 QB sacks.
In college, Reed displayed a high football IQ, finding himself around the ball often.
JR Reed has been reading and baiting Ian Book all night. Finally comes away with an INT. Showed great range and ball skills. pic.twitter.com/Hwb4xJiaLy
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) September 22, 2019
Though Reed displayed adequate balls, he was known for his reliability as a tackler. More of a box defender, Reed’s use in Denver would likely be as a nickel linebacker who can provide run support and roam in the middle of the field.
JR Reed hunting down Tampa’s 3rd round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
Reed’s dad said teams flagged JR for a torn ACL he had in high school. Others probably let him go undrafted because he’s a 24 year old rookie and he’s not a high upside lottery ticket on day 3… but he’s a good player pic.twitter.com/cypy0SVbqc
— Кevin (@KevinFromDuval) May 5, 2020
At a minimum, Reed’s willingness to hit will be a welcome addition to the Broncos special teams.
Reed’s familiarity with Evero should give him a solid chance at making the team’s final roster. However, look for Denver to continue to add to their secondary both in free agency and the draft. Former starter Kareem Jackson has been in talks with the Broncos and could be another name added to help Denver compete in the loaded AFC West.