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The San Francisco 49ers made a playoff run last season thanks in large part to their highly ranked defense. With most of those players returning, there were not a lot of spots open for newcomers. However, Eric Reid, the team’s first round draft pick out of LSU, is expecting to earn a starting role pretty much right from the beginning of the season.
Ever since being selected with the 18th pick in the draft, Reid has been studying the playbook and trying to prepare himself for his rookie season. One of his major selling points coming out of college is that he is not only physically talented, but mentally as well. He earned academic honors in college, and Jim Harbaugh even tried to recruit him to Stanford back when he was coaching the Cardinal.
Reid has also tried to connect with Donte Whitner as much as possible already this offseason. The 49ers’ strong safety could be Reid’s starting teammate in the secondary. It will be interesting to see if Reid will be able to step in and fill the hole of Dashon Goldson right away. San Francisco won’t need Reid to be a star right away, but they just need him to do his job. The team obviously has high expectations for the first rounder, and the goal is to get back to the Super Bowl and possibly win it this year. Reid will have the luxury of being able to slide right into a perfect situation for him overall with a defense around him that will be drafted high come fantasy football draft time.
Several people before the draft thought that San Francisco’s main focus in the first round was to pick up a defensive lineman such as Sheldon Richardson or Star Lotulelei. While both of those guys might have been valued slightly more, Reid will get a chance to make an impact from day one. Expect Reid to have a solid season at safety during his rookie year.