Combine Interview Compares to Hernandez

Instead of becoming the next Tim Tebow, Florida's Jordan Reed followed in the footsteps of Aaron Hernandez. Reed had a formal interview with the Packers at the Scouting Combine and is one of several tight ends on their radar.

Jordan Reed arrived at Florida with visions of replacing Tim Tebow. He left Florida having garnered comparisons to Aaron Hernandez.

Reed, a superb pass-catching tight end, had a formal interview with the Green Bay Packers at the Scouting Combine. After running his 40-yard dash at the Combine in 4.72 seconds, he skipped the physical testing at Tuesday's pro day due to a bruised knee. He did go through position drills and showed all the traits that make him an option in the third or fourth round.

Reed (6-2 1/2, 236) was first-team all-SEC in 2012, his junior season. He was a three-star quarterback from New London (Conn.) High School and arrived on campus in 2009, when Tebow was playing his senior season. Late during Reed's redshirt season, the coaches asked if he'd move to tight end. He played both spots in 2010, contributing five touchdown runs, three touchdown passes and one touchdown reception.

When the Gators brought in Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator in 2011, he asked Reed what position he preferred.

"I told him I'd rather just stick with tight end just because I didn't want to be like a jack-of-all-trades," Reed said at the Combine. "I wanted to master a certain position. And I felt like tight end was my best shot."

It was a good decision. After catching 28 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns in 2011, he led the team with 45 catches for 559 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.

Reed and Hernandez have some similar traits. They're the same height; Hernandez ran his 40 in 4.64 seconds. Hernandez was a fourth-round pick in 2010 and has caught 175 passes and scored 18 touchdowns in three seasons with New England.

"I know him pretty good," Reed said. "Me and Aaron are good friends and I learned a lot from him while he was at Florida. I use his moves out there sometimes. I watch him when he's with the Patriots. Me and him have a good relationship. Whenever he comes down to Florida we catch up, see each other and hang out a little bit."

Hernandez might be the better athlete and have the tight end pedigree — he was Scout.com's top-ranked tight end coming out of high school — but Reed's quarterback background gives him an advantage, just like it did for the Packers' Randall Cobb.

"Definitely," he said. "On a scramble drill, I will go to the spots where I would want the receiver to go if I was the scrambler. And certain zones, I would sit down where I would want a guy to sit down if I was playing QB. And I would see openings easier at the position."

Reed acknowledges he has a lot to learn. Having played tight end only full-time for the last two seasons, he needs to become a better blocker and he has to get stronger.

"I felt like a tight end (rather than a quarterback playing tight end) this last season," he said. "This was my first season where I felt comfortable playing the position and was able to run after the catch. I felt way more comfortable at it, and just more familiar with the position in total."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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