In 2017, you might see Haason Reddick lined up as a defensive end, an outside linebacker, or off-ball linebacker, flying around downfield. That part of his career arc isn’t certain. But for Reddick, that particular where doesn’t seem to matter. He’s just happy to make it to the NFL and be in Indianapolis, center stage for coaches and GMs to watch him compete against his peers.
Reddick spoke to the media yesterday, captured by the Trib’s Joe Rutter, and said teams have viewed him playing in a pass rush and off-ball role.
“I know a lot of teams want me at outside linebacker, some want me inside, and some want me to play both,” he said.
One thing teams have not asked Reddick to do is gain weight. He’s came to Indianapolis at 237 pounds, the same as he did in the Senior Bowl, rebuffing the notion from many in the media that he’s too small to play as an outside linebacker. Despite a smaller frame, Reddick’s length is better than the likes of Carl Lawson, Charles Harris, and Derek Barnett, three players who are considered first rounders.
“I feel comfortable with where I’m at,” he said about his weight. “So that’s just a plus for me.”
Viewed as a fringe first rounder, he told reporters he had or was going to meet with virtually every team, an unsurprising statement given that he could fit into virtually any defense. And yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers were part of that list with Reddick saying he met with the club Saturday night.
Yesterday, he reiterated what he told me at the Senior Bowl of what it would mean to become a Steeler.
“It would mean a lot. To go there and be considered to be someone who I already think is a great defense that’s known around the league. To get drafted there and link back up with Tyler Matakevich, that’s a plus. Already having him there, I’d have someone to show me the ropes and it would be like home.”
It’s not the first time Reddick has mentioned playing with Matakevich, praising his character and leadership. This is what he said in January.
“Ty is a great guy. I still talk to Ty. Actually, I talked to him last week leading up to coming [to the Senior Bowl]. He always extends himself to me, giving me insight and whatever knowledge he can pass on. He’s like a big brother to me. I”m just glad he’s open and available.”
Reddick will be running his 40 within the hour but declined to say specifically what he was shooting for, only believing – but not promising – to run around a 4.5. He said at Mobile he wants to touch the 4.3’s, a number that would be more impressive than John Ross’ record setting 4.22 yesterday morning.
“I think I can get 4.5 tomorrow. I have a bigger goal set to myself. Keeping that disclosed though. If I hit it, then I’ll let everyone know.”
Should he test well, and there’s every reason to believe he will, he will likely cement himself as a first round pick. And be in play for the Steelers at 30th in overall. Maybe not the pick, but in the conversation, as someone who can help the team out in several ways in year one.
Rotating in off the edge, playing off ball to replace Lawrence Timmons, and becoming a core special teamer with his speed and pass rush tools. Given the interest in him and the position, he’s a good bet to be one of the 30 players brought in for a pre-draft visit.