Former NFL LB K.J. Wright said on NFL Network that Jets CB D.J. Reed is his under-the-radar signing that deserves more attention.
"When you look at the offseason moves the Jets made, this is my favorite move," Wright said. "He's going to come in and change the dynamic of this locker room. He's going to shift the culture of this Jets team. When you see him on the football field, excellent in man-to-man coverage. He's scrappy, he's gritty and the man's confidence is through the roof. I love playing with D.J. To see him going there, pairing him up with Sauce Gardner could be fun to watch."
Wright and Reed, who originally signed with San Francisco as an undrafted free agent out of Kansas State in 2018, were teammates in Seattle in 2020. Reed played 10 games that season (8 starts) before starting a career-high 14 games in 2021. In addition to his 78 tackles, 10 pass defenses and 2 interceptions, his 78.6 PFF grade ranked No. 7 among corners who took at least 50% of his team's snaps. His 51.5 reception percentage was tied for sixth. Opposing quarterbacks completed just 46.2% of their pass attempts when targeting Reed, which was the third-lowest among qualified corners and he had a 69.7 passer rating in his final 12 games of the season.
"I feel like I'm a CB1," he said. "I think it's obvious, but people look at my height [5-9] and say he's a good CB2. If you watch my tape from last year and the year before that, it's CB1. My stats compare to the All-Pros this year like Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Terrell, J.C. Jackson, my stats are right there with those guys. I'm going to take another step this year. I'd call myself a young veteran. I play smart because I know the game and I communicate and want to learn and I'm still learning, but on top of that, I'm only 25 years old, so I'm still young."
HC Robert Saleh, who coached Reed in 2018 and 2019 with the 49ers, added at the league meetings in March: "I always talk about Nate Shepherd being the king of strain, D.J. Reed is going to be right there with him for that crown. The young man works his absolute butt off and every single play you will feel the intensity of how he plays. Having him out there and his fight, obviously it helps the d-line a lot."