There is no doubt at all that Keenan Reynolds is an exceptionally gifted athlete. There is also no doubt that Reynolds has the desire, the ability and the work ethic to become an NFL player if he is given the right opportunity. Unfortunately for Reynolds, there is no place in the league for a running quarterback (unless you are Cam Newton and built like a tank) so the Navy great is going to have to find a different position if he is going to get a much-deserved shot as a pro.
The question that is yet to be answered is exactly what that position should be.
In the practices for the East-West Shrine Game last week Reynolds was being lined up mainly as a running back. Reynolds is listed at around 5-feet-11 and 205-pounds, but he certainly doesn’t have the kind of body that would be required to take the week on week grind of the running back position in the NFL. The coaches at the game also had Reynolds running some zone-read plays as a quarterback and some direct snap run plays, all facets of an offense he would be familiar with from his time under center at Navy.
There is a growing mindset among the scouts however that tailback may not be the correct position to use Reynolds at the next level. There are some criticizing Reynolds hands, noting that he had 32 fumbles during his career at Navy, but there is a marked difference between the way you handle the ball as an option quarterback and how it is held by any other player on the field. Those criticisms intensify when other scouts suggest that Reynolds is a more natural fit as a slot receiver than as a running back.
Looking throughout recent NFL history the move makes a lot of sense. The likes of Antwaan Randle El and Julian Edelman have proven that a college quarterback can become a great slot receiver if given the opportunity. The experience quarterbacking gives the converted players a natural feel of how to read zones and find holes in a defense, making them valuable players in the modern day professional game. Reynolds showed at Navy how quickly he can learn an offense and a system and it would be no shock at all if he turned some heads later in the pre-draft season with his ability to play football out of the slot.