Is Malik Reed the next Shaquil Barrett for Broncos?

Nevada Wolf Pack linebacker Malik Reed (90) celebrates the win over the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium.
Sep 29, 2018; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Nevada Wolf Pack linebacker Malik Reed (90) celebrates the win over the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014, the Broncos signed undrafted free agent Shaquil Barrett to the final roster, where he quickly developed into a talented pass rusher, one even better than Denver first-round pick Shane Ray. Although it would be stunning for him to outperform new first-round pick Bradley Chubb, the Broncos may have found the next Shaq Barrett in Malik Reed.

Reed’s been a monster this preseason as he’s clearly separated himself as Denver’s third-best pass rusher, hauling in two sacks, eight pressures, five stops and the fifth-highest defensive grade for the Broncos on just 69 snaps per Pro Football Focus.

When asked how he felt when Vic Fangio told him he’d be going from an undrafted free agent to a player with a roster spot, Reed said, “It’s amazing, you know that is always the goal. Coming in as an undrafted free agent you don’t have a spot, so you have to go out there and fight for everything that you want. So it is amazing to hear that.”

Much like Phillip Lindsay, last year’s undrafted phenom, Reed isn’t getting ahead of himself. “I just have to take it one day at a time and one step at a time, try not to get too far ahead. Whether it is a good day or a bad day, I just continue to focus on what I can focus on and continue to get better.”

The proposition of Malik Reed getting better should be downright terrifying to opposing teams given the Broncos’ existing talent on the edge, and the fact that Von Miller has already dubbed Reed “The Dream Killer.”

When asked how he felt about the nickname, Reed said, “It’s cool, I have never been called that before but to that be dubbed by Von Miller is pretty special.”

Malik Reed will continue killing the dreams and breeding the nightmares of opposing quarterbacks this upcoming 2019 season.

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