S – #12 Middle Tennessee State
Year: Senior (5th Year)
High School: West Limestone (Athens, AL)
HS Rating: 3 star (0.8148)
Phil Steele: PS#263
Reed Blankenship Scouting Report
Decent speed, nothing special though. Has some footwork issues that cause him to lose some speed sometimes. Good, flexible hips allow him to change direction quickly and with ease. Good, clean, wrap-up tackler. Tends to go too high with his technique, so would like to see him around 205 for the process. Plays well downhill. Really need to see improvement on pursuit angles in 2021. Wants to deliver the highlight hit and doesn’t always deliver. Might think he’s more athletic than he is.
Smart zone coverage player. Does have the tendency of getting sucked up by the play action, vacating his zone, and leaving the field wide open. Loves to cheat up to defend the run. Doesn’t have great hands to collect interceptions with. Struggles to get off of the block at times to make tackles in space. Reacts well to the play in front of him, plays downhill well. Don’t get the feeling he’s a very instinctual player. Ends up near the football often. Rallies quick to the football.
Plays a lot of special teams snaps too – like to see that out of players. Generally reacts well to the play – but struggles to see the play the closer he gets to the line of scrimmage. He will be a deep safety at the pro level, don’t see him playing out of the slot. Blankenship has repeatedly rubbed many people the wrong way with his persona and personality. Acts very entitled and thinks that he is much better than he really is.
What we want to see from Reed Blankenship in Las Vegas
- We really would like to see how Reed Blankenship matches up against tight ends, especially in vertical ability. If he shows the ability to play in underneath coverage effectively and/or go man-to-man with them, he will boost his draft stock tremendously.
- Blankenship needs to blow away teams in interviews, who are currently concerned with his persona and how it will impact a locker room.
Pre-Shrine Bowl projection
Reed Blankenship projects as a special teams player immediately that teams would hope to develop over the next couple of years to play on the back end. He projects best as a strong safety at the next level in a cover two scheme.
We like Blankenship as a seventh-round/PFA prospect because of his special teams’ ability. However, if NFL teams aren’t impressed with his persona, he will go undrafted.