Riley Reiff

Draft Grades: Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions made significant strides in 2011, but have failed to make the necessary steps to build upon their playoff run. This draft class was an opportunity fill some holes, especially on defense, but GM Martin Mayhew failed to land any impact players on the defensive side of the ball.

Riley Reiff could have been a justifiable 1st-round pick if he filled an immediate need, but Lions don’t  have an immediate hole to fill on the offensive line. Jeff Backus may not have much time left in Detroit, however, so they could view Reiff as the future at left tackle. Unfortunately, Reiff does not project as an impact player on the left side, and would be better suited as a right tackle, where Gosder Cherilus appears to be entrenched.

Ryan Broyles is an intriguing prospect, but the 2nd round was far too early for an undersized receiver coming off a significant injury. This was the type of selection Lions fans thought they were free of when Matt Millen left the organization.

Dwight Bentley was also a reach in the 3rd round. He has some developmental value, but the Lions really needed to add an impact cornerback. Jayron Hosley and Brandon Boykin were both still on the board and are far more NFL ready than Bentley.

Ronnell Lewis has a chance to be a steal in the 4th round, but Lions will need to find the right place for him. In the 4-3 defense he could play end or strong-side linebacker.

Tahir Whitehead is a nice developmental prospect and was a solid value pick in the 5th round. He’ll likely compete for the backup role at strong-side linebacker.

Chris Greenwood was one of the Lions better selections. He’s raw and the level of competition is a definite concern, but his upside is undeniable. He may not provide much immediate help, but was well worth a flier in the 5th round.

Jonte Greene will compete with Bentley and Greenwood for playing time, but the Lions secondary is getting crowded. It’s unlikely that all three will be able to make the final roster cuts.

Travis Lewis is a great 7th-round pick. His upside is limited due to marginal athleticism, but he was a productive linebacker at Oklahoma and should be able to contribute as a backup and on special teams. He’ll likely compete with Doug Houge for the backup weak-side linebacker job.

The Lions failed to land any immediate help from this draft class, and the long-term value appears to be minimal as well. Reiff will likely earn a starting role eventually, but he is the only player from this class who realistically should be viewed as a long-term starter. This was a blown opportunity for the Lions.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Lions Comments Off

Detroit Lions select Riley Reiff, Grade B-

This is a solid selection for the Detroit Lions, but I’m not sure it was the right choice. Riley Reiff isn’t a left tackle, which is fine late in the 1st round, but Gosder Cherlius is already entrenched at right tackle. And if the Lions plan on moving Reiff or Cherlius to guard, then why not just take David DeCastro? It’s a questionable choice, but Reiff does have decent value here.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Lions Comments Off

How Mario Williams affects Bills draft plans

The Buffalo Bills made the biggest free agent signing in franchise history today, officially inking Mario Williams to a six-year $96M deal. But one man cannot turn a 6-10 team into a playoff contender, so GM Buddy Nix still has plenty of work to do this offseason.

The next order of business for Nix, is to sort out his draft board and determine what area to address with the 10th pick in the draft.

Could Dre Kirkpatrick be the Bills target at No. 10?

Throughout the offseason, I’ve assumed the Bills would target a defensive end at No. 10 (Melvin Ingram and Nick Perry have each been matched with Buffalo in my mock draft at various points). But the signing of Williams means the Bills may chose to address another area of concern in the 1st round.

The next most glaring hole is at cornerback, where Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence are both coming off disappointing years. The Bills could potentially fill this hole with Dre Kirkpatrick, the consensus second-best corner in the draft behind Morris Claiborne.

The offensive line is another area which could be addressed. Left tackle Demetrius Bell is a free agent and does not appear headed back to Buffalo. Chris Hairston may step into Bell’s role, but the Bills may still be looking for an upgrade over Erik Pears on the right side. Riley Reiff and Jonathan Martin would both be nice fits at right tackle.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bills Comments Off

Vikings Offseason Priority: Protect Ponder

The Minnesota Vikings took a risk last year by investing a high 1st-round pick in Christian Ponder. And now that they have their franchise quarterback, it’s time to surround him with the talent he needs to succeed.

According to the Vikings offensive line ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of pass blocking efficiency (16th overall). But while they were acceptable as a group, there are some holes which could be filled.

The most glaring issue on the line is at left tackle, where free agent pickup Charlie Johnson struggled all season. ProFootballFocus ranked Johnson 42nd out of 58 tackles in terms of pass blocking efficiency (93.5%).

The best-case scenario for the Vikings would be land Matt Kalil with the 3rd overall selection. Adding Kalil would allow the Vikings to cut Johnson, who is set to earn $2.95M in each of the next two seasons.

If Kalil is off the board, however, there isn’t an offensive lineman worthy of the 3rd overall selection. However, if Kalil is gone, that means Robert Griffin is still on the board. The  Vikings could potentially trade down with either the Redskins or Dolphins and select Riley Reiff at a more appropriate position in the 1st round, while also adding some much needed draft picks.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Vikings Comments Off

Riley Reiff scouting report

Riley Reiff OT Iowa #77
Ht: 6’6″

Wt: 300

Prototypical height and overall size. Solid fundamentals; does a nice job staying low and using leverage to hold his ground against more physical defensive linemen. Strong lower body allows him to hold his ground against the bull rush. Excellent footwork; uses quick feet to recover when beat off the snap. Nasty run blocker; stays low and consistently drives his man back. Decent athleticism; has the ability to get to the second level. Strong hands/arms; does a nice job fighting off pass rushers with his upper body.
Quickness off the snap could be improved; when he gets beat, it’s often by a faster edge rusher who’s past him before he’s even able to get into his stance – may be viewed as a right tackle by some teams for this reason. Looks much more confident as a run blocker; more assertive in run blocking; seems hesitant and less comfortable dropping into pass protection. Not asked to move around much in Iowa’s offense; limited experience on screens, pulling, trapping, etc. Arrested in 2008 for public in intoxication and avoiding arrest; stopped by police while undressing in an alley and proceeded to lead them on a 20-minute chase on foot.
Reiff has all the physical tools necessary to start at the next level, potentially at left tackle. The only thing holding him back from elite prospect status is his somewhat limited athleticism, which will probably cause some teams to view him as a right tackle. Regardless of where he ends up on the line, he should be plugged into a starting role immediately and left there for the next decade.
2011 vs Oklahoma (bowl game)
2011 vs Nebraska 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment