Among the many NFL representatives on hand for the recent University of Central Florida pro day – which included Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Gene Smith and Baltimore Ravens offensive line coach Andy Moeller – was Bears director of player personnel Tim Ruskell. A total of 10 former Knights were on display.
Ruskell surely took a long look at Jah Reid, a 6-7, 321-pound offensive tackle prospect. Reid came into the UCF program at 370 pounds but quickly dropped down to his current playing weight. He earned All-Conference USA Freshman honors as a special-teams performer in 2007 and has started at right tackle since 2008. All told, he started 42 games while at UCF, including his last 33 in a row.
Reid is an extremely physical blocker who relied mostly on his strength, rather than technique, on his way to earning first team All-Conference USA honors his junior and senior seasons.
He is very athletic and is effective mauling defenders in the run game. His power makes it difficult for defenders to release once Reid locks on. His size is ideal for right tackle and he has plenty of experience at the position. That said, he has some serious flaws. He plays too high, falls back on his heels too much, lunges at defenders and doesn't show great balance in space. At the second level, he often looks lost and he has a hard time in pre-snap blitz recognition.
At the pro day, Reid ran 5.32 and 5.29 in the 40, had a 29-inch vertical jump, a 9-3 broad jump, a 4.59 short shuttle and a 7.59 3-cone. He also bench pressed 23 reps of 225 pounds, down considerably from the 28 he put up at the Scouting Combine.
Reid has the size and athleticism to possibly turn into a contributor down the line. He's a little tall to play guard and doesn't have the quickness to play left tackle, so his ideal position is at right tackle. He was very impressive at his pro day, which could compel the Bears to grab him as a late-round project.
WR Kamar Aiken
Also working out at the UCF pro day was LB Bruce Miller, the reigning two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. Miller is big, fast and has an all-day motor. He played defensive end and defensive tackle in college, where he excelled at getting to the quarterback, racking up 21.5 sacks his final two seasons. He ran a very good 4.62 at the pro day. At the combine, he benched 225-pounds 35 times, which is outstanding.
Reid's size (6-1, 254-pounds) means he is better suited as a linebacker than a defensive end or tackle at the NFL level. With his pass-rushing abilities, he is best suited for a 3-4 scheme, which means the Bears will most likely pass on him in the late rounds.
Yet the prospect that impressed scouts most was wide receiver Kamar Aiken. He was not invited to the combine, so his pro-day workout was the first time many NFL teams have had a chance to look at him up close. Aiken (6-1, 213-pounds) ran a solid 4.45 40-yard dash. He had a 36 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 10-8 broad jump, a 4.36-second short shuttle and a 7.10 3-cone drill – all good numbers for his position.
His stats throughout his career were never overly impressive, catching only 32 balls for 486 yards and two TDs his senior season. Yet his 16-yards-per-catch average over the last two years shows his deep threat potential. On film, Aiken demonstrates good balance and positioning on deep balls, uses his body well to shield defenders and gets after the ball at its highest point. He has good hands and catches the pigskin away from his body.
Aiken is unpolished though. He runs sloppy routes and does not show much proficiency in the short and intermediate routes. Basically he's a big body who, at this point in his career, excels only in one phase of the game: the deep ball. He does show good ability in finding soft spots in zone coverage but the majority of his game is too raw for him to be anything more than a late-round flier.
That said, Chicago is looking for a big receiver who can go after the jump ball, which is exactly what Aiken is. His pro day was impressive but it didn't change his status as nothing more than a project. He might now slip into the last few rounds of the draft, which would be a good place for the Bears to grab a developmental receiver with his size and talent level.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.