As we inch closer and closer to the start of training camp (yes, it still seems like it’s an eternity away), we will start to profile players that fans should keep an eye on.
You know who Philip Rivers is. You know who Melvin Gordon is and you know about Joey Bosa. You know what each of those guys can do. But what about Caraun Reid?
Reid is a player that has only played in seven games for the Los Angeles Chargers. But with the team switching to a 4-3 defense this year, there is an opportunity for defensive lineman to make an impact this summer.
Reid was somewhat of a surprising cut last year by the Detroit Lions, who parted ways with their former fifth-round pick as part of the team’s final roster cuts last season. The Chargers quickly swooped in, grabbing the young defender on waivers.
Prior to being hurt with an ACL injury that landed him on injured reserve last season, Reid saw between 10 and 22 defensive snaps per game for the Chargers, according to Pro Football Reference. While he had not become a major factor for the team, he had carved out a role on defense.
He was also in the right place at the right time to turn this fumble (video) forced by Jatavis Brown into six points.
Reid has some pass-rush ability and he’s still just 25 years old. He was looking better with each game last season and if he is fully recovered from his ACL injury, he should be highly encouraged heading into this season. The Chargers’ fan base should feel the same way.
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Bosa and Melvin Ingram will be at either defensive end spot and while Brandon Mebane and Corey Liuget will likely get the starting roles inside, Reid could cut into Liuget’s playing time. The team could also experiment with him at one of the inside spots while in nickel packages as he may be a better pass rusher than Liuget at this stage in their careers.
At the very least, Reid is a guy who defensive line coach Giff Smith can mold into a quality pass rusher who can come off the bench at key moments in games.