Kendall Reyes of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates his touchdown run in the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on November 26, 2011 at Rentschler Field in Connecticut. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Visiting the Broncos' Dove Valley facility last week was Connecticut Defensive Tackle Kendall Reyes, who may be on the Broncos’ radar with the No. 25 pick. At 6-4, 299 lbs., Reyes fits the size Denver is searching for at the Tackle spot. Born on September 26, 1989, Kendall will be 23 right after the regular season begins. If you will recall my earlier posts, he had a Production Ratio of .90 and an Explosion Number of 81.75. Both figures fall in the very good to excellent range.
As a UConn Huskie, Kendall started 42 career games. He amassed 142 Tackles, 11.5 Sacks, 32.5 Tackles For Loss, 2 Interceptions, 12 Pass Break Ups, 3 Forced Fumbles and a 9-Yard Fumble Return for a Touchdown. He also returned an Interception 79-Yards in 2010 against Cincinnati.
At the NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in February, Kendall had a good showing.
40 Yard Time: 4.95
Bench Press: 36 Reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5"
Broad Jump: 11'3"
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.53
3-Cone Drill: 7.43
Arm Length: 33 1/4"
Hand Span: 9.5"
Reyes is a big body inside with a decent skill set and frame that come together to make a good option for a team that needs defensive line depth. Reyes is a powerful mover and a hard worker who should stick with a team at the next level based mainly on size and strength.
STRENGTHS: Reyes has a big frame and he uses it well. He has a strong lower body which provides him a good anchor when going up against double teams inside. He doesn't display the same strength in his upper body, but is technically savvy with his hands to keep offensive lineman off him. Reyes has a motor inside and relies more on his feet and technique to beat guys. He is a good player to insert in different slants and stunts inside based on schemes that commonly use these tactics. Reyes will be a reliable and strong player at the next level who consistently displays high effort and rarely gets completely blocked inside; he is always able to make just enough of a play to make a difference.
WEAKNESSES: Reyes is a good all-around prospect, but doesn't display any jaw-dropping skills that make him attractive at the next level. He plays a bit underweight, and this can show up at times when going against double teams. Reyes will have a tough time getting into the backfield to disrupt or rush the passer at the next level.
NFLDraftScout.com’s Scouting Report on Kendall Reyes
Reyes played both end and tackle in college and didn't impress scouts as a pass rush threat until he outplayed some of the best offensive linemen in the country at the Senior Bowl.
He has good short-area quickness and will win most fights in a phone booth. This ability was demonstrated at the Combine, where he hoisted 225 pounds 36 times and surprised scouts with an unofficial 40 time of 4.79. Teams still appreciate his consistency against the run more than his threat as a pass rusher, however.
Reyes arrived at Connecticut as a 245-pound, three-sport prep star (including basketball and track) and developed into a big body without losing his quickness and agility. He started 42 games at UConn and finished with 31.5 tackles for a loss, 10th in school history.
Pass rush: Does not get a lot of sacks, but provides some interior pressure and will make quarterbacks pay for holding onto the ball for too long. Flashes the ability to bull his man into the backfield and split double teams. Takes advantage of lunging lineman to rip off and harass the quarterback. Gets his big hands up to block passes if unable to beat his man, also follows quarterback on moving pockets and sniff out screens. Not an elite pass rusher, though, due to a lack of closing speed and inconsistent quickness off the snap.
Run defense: Flashes the strength to stack and shed, move down the line to chase running backs in either direction from inside. Agile enough to avoid cut block with hands and sidestep, get into the backfield. Keeps eyes in the backfield to get a piece of ballcarriers coming inside. Gets low quickly to get under offense linemen in short-yardage situations. Plays too high at times, however, gets carried downfield or put to the ground by better lineman when losing the leverage battle.
Explosion: Flashes enough quickness off the snap to threaten gaps at three-technique, especially when slanting. Also shows a punch to stop blockers, but is not yet consistent enough with that and his hand placement to control veteran NFL linemen.
Strength: Growing frame gives him great potential to play inside at the next level. Still learning to use his mass inside to leverage offensive lineman, but shows the ability to force his way through one-on-one blocks and double-teams with powerful leg action and violent hands.
Tackling: Length and strong upper-body make him difficult to escape once he gets to the ball. Fair hustle, moves off block to chase to the sideline or inside when the back is in sight. Inconsistent closing speed and break-down to grab backs coming his direction. Better short-area quickness to wrap up ballcarriers in his immediate vicinity, lacks long foot speed to do more than chase them into other defenders' arms. Stamina is a question mark, considerably fresher at the beginning of each half.
Intangibles: Two-time team captain who teammates commend on his work ethic. Has added weight through diet and weight room work while maintaining size-relative athleticism. Durable, versatile player. No known character issues or off-field incidents.
A physically put together, long armed, athletic tackle with good girth through his lower half who looks stronger than his frame would indicate. Exhibits the ability to coil up into his stance, keep his base down off the ball and exhibits an explosive first step. Routinely gets off the ball on time and into the chest plate of blockers quickly, exhibiting the natural power to hold the point inside when run at. He extends his arms well and, despite not being the most violent of defenders when asked to shed, has some coordination to get off blocks and the range to make plays off his frame. I would like to see him be a little more balanced routinely as a run defender as he will lower his head into contact and allow his lower half to get upright on the play at times allowing himself to be sealed off the snap. Plus, at times, he doesn't find the football consistently inside. However, he exhibits the first-step quickness and arm-over to threaten gaps off the ball, knife his way into the backfield and stop plays before they start. Breaks down well for a big guy and wraps solidly inside.
Needs to win with his first step as a pass rusher at this stage. Exhibits the burst to threaten gaps and/or cross the face of a blocker and make his way into the backfield. Is a gifted athlete who can stunt inside and exhibits good closing range in space. Gets upright into contact off the ball at times. However, he has the skill set, to rush the passer. At times will flash the ability to stay low, extend his arms in order to keep himself clean and side step blocks laterally. Showcased some improvements to his game at the Senior Bowl as a pass rusher and should be able to continue to improve. Gets his hands up routinely inside and knocks a lot of footballs down at the line.
Impression: Displays some natural talent and did a better job at Senior Bowl playing with a lower pad level. If he can continue to play lower should be able to fight for a starting role in both a 34 or 43 scheme as a three or five technique.
Jon Dove over at Mocking The Draft had this to say about Reyes:
Kendall Reyes offers a lot of versatility and playmaking ability. He has good size and weight distribution that will allow him to hold up on the interior. Reyes combines that size with good athletic ability. He has a quick first step and explodes into the line creating a powerful jolt. This jolt helps him gain leverage which allows him to push the pocket and make plays on the football. A major positive to Reyes game is his ability to both play two gap football and penetrate the pocket. Evaluators are going to love his effort and motor.
The versatility Reyes offers puts him in play for teams running both a 3-4 and 4-3 scheme. He has the quickness and suddenness to play 3 technique and the anchor ability to the 5 technique position. An area that needs improvement is remaining low throughout the play. He has a tendency to raise his pad level as the play develops.
Overall, Reyes is an excellent Defensive Line prospect with the potential to make an impact in the NFL. His disruptive style of play will gain the attention of NFL teams.
Most evaluations rank Kendall as the 6th best Defensive Tackle in the 2012 Draft. He is projected as a late-first or early second-round pick (~35th). Considering there are about 7 first-round grades at Defensive Tackle this year, the Broncos should be able to secure a good one at 25.
Even though each NFL team can use up to 30 prospect visits to their own facility, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Broncos only plan on using about half of them.
This is another player who I wouldn’t mind in Denver, but I think a higher ranked player will be selected.