As a redshirt freshman, Reyes made his presence known late in the year by starting the last four games (20 tackles, three for loss, 1.5 sacks) then continued to line up with the first team as a sophomore (37 tackles, six TFL, three sacks, two pass break-ups). Reyes took the step from starter to playmaker as a junior, garnering first-team All-Big East honors in 2010 with 39 tackles, 10 for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and four pass break-ups.
Reyes played end and tackle for UConn in 2010, which helped NFL teams using 3-4 or 4-3 schemes to easily envision him as a five or three-technique, respectively. He flashes short-area quickness and strength to be a force in the middle, and improved consistency will help him increase his production while pushing him into an early-round selection.
Pass Rush: Does not get a lot of sacks, but provides some interior pressure and will make quarterbacks pay for holding onto the ball for too long. Flashes the ability to bull his man into the backfield and split double teams. Takes advantage of lunging lineman to rip off and harass the quarterback. Gets his big hands up to block passes if unable to beat his man, also follows quarterback on moving pockets and sniff out screens. Not an elite pass rusher, though, due to a lack of closing speed and inconsistent quickness off the snap.
Run Defense: Flashes the strength to stack and shed, move down the line to chase running backs in either direction from inside. Agile enough to avoid cut block with hands and sidestep, get into the backfield. Keeps eyes in the backfield to get a piece of ballcarriers coming inside. Gets low quickly to get under offense linemen in short-yardage situations. Plays too high at times, however, gets carried downfield or put to the ground by better lineman when losing the leverage battle.
Explosion: Flashes enough quickness off the snap to threaten gaps at three-technique, especially when slanting. Also shows a punch to stop blockers, but is not yet consistent enough with that and his hand placement to control veteran NFL linemen.
Strength: Growing frame gives him great potential to play inside at the next level. Still learning to use his mass inside to leverage offensive lineman, but shows the ability to force his way through one-on-one blocks and double-teams with powerful leg action and violent hands.
Tackling: Length and strong upper-body make him difficult to escape once he gets to the ball. Fair hustle, moves off block to chase to the sideline or inside when the back is in sight. Inconsistent closing speed and break-down to grab backs coming his direction. Better short-area quickness to wrap up ballcarriers in his immediate vicinity, lacks long foot speed to do more than chase them into other defenders' arms. Stamina is a question mark, considerably fresher at the beginning of each half.
Intangibles: Two-time team captain who teammates commend on his work ethic. Has added weight through diet and weight room work while maintaining size-relative athleticism. Durable, versatile player. No known character issues or off-field incidents."
Routinely gets off the ball on time and into the chest plate of blockers quickly, exhibiting the natural power to hold the point inside when run at. He extends his arms well and, despite not being the most violent of defenders when asked to shed, has some coordination to get off blocks and the range to make plays off his frame.
I would like to see him be a little more balanced routinely as a run defender as he will lower his head into contact and allow his lower half to get upright on the play at times allowing himself to be sealed off the snap. Plus, at times, he doesn't find the football consistently inside.
However, he exhibits the first-step quickness and arm-over to threaten gaps off the ball, knife his way into the backfield and stop plays before they start. Breaks down well for a big guy and wraps solidly inside.
Needs to win with his first step as a pass rusher at this stage. Exhibits the burst to threaten gaps and/or cross the face of a blocker and make his way into the backfield. Is a gifted athlete who can stunt inside and exhibits good closing range in space.
However, he doesn't have a ton of suddenness when trying to slide blocks through contact or disengage. Gets upright into contact, isn't overly violent with his arms and is more active trying to change angles with his legs and then close on the football.
Isn't the most natural of pass rushers at this stage and is still developing in that area. He has the skill set, just not the know how. Nevertheless, he gets his hands up routinely inside and knocks a lot of footballs down at the line.
Impression: Displays some natural talent, but needs to learn to play lower through contact as he gets tied up too often because of it. Will go higher than he should because of a weak DT class, but should be able to fight his way into an NFL rotation."
Lateral agility, range and closing burst are not elite, as he doesn't change direction or accelerate with suddenness.
Needs to play with more consistent leverage and diversify his pass rush.
Not yet a finisher, but has the size, length, versatility and smarts to appeal in multiple schemes."
Reyes combines that size with good athletic ability. He has a quick first step and explodes into the line creating a powerful jolt. This jolt helps him gain leverage which allows him push the pocket and make plays on the football. A major positive to Reyes' game is his ability to both play two gap football and penetrate the pocket. Evaluators are going to love his effort and motor.
The versatility Reyes offers puts him in play for teams running both a 3-4 and 4-3 scheme. He has the quickness and suddenness to play 3 technique and the anchor ability to the 5 technique position. An area that needs improvement is remaining low throughout the play. He has a tendency to raise his pad level as the play develops.
Overall, Reyes is an excellent defensive line prospect with the potential to make an impact in the NFL. His disruptive style of play will gain the attention of NFL teams.
Bold Statement: Reyes will make a good run at being a 1st round pick.
Games Viewed: South Florida ('10), Pittsburgh ('10), Oklahoma ('10)
- Reyes is a well put together individual with good size and weight distribution
- He possesses good quickness and fluid motions
- Reyes does a great job firing off the football and exploding into the offensive line
- His ability to keep his pad level low helps him gain and maintain leverage
- He delivers a powerful punch creating some space between him and the lineman
- Reyes has a strong base allowing him to hold at the point of attack and play two gap football
- For his size, he displays surprising quickness and short area burst
- He is a hard worker and constantly fights to maintain leverage
- His high motor helps him purse the ball and make plays down the field
- Reyes has excellent awareness and is always a threat to tip the ball at the line
- He has quick, violent, and explosive hands that helps him disengage from blocks
- Reyes is an explosive player with the ability to create pressure
- His passing rushing arsenal allows him to keep linemen off guard"
Has decent strength, but doesn’t always anchor all that well; also still refining techniques, but is very quick off the snap, keeps pads low, has good lateral agility and can change direction; had 39 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 7.5 other tackles for loss last fall."
Very good stack and shed type player; can bull rush and overpower blockers when pass rushing; solid leg drive, keeps his legs moving, can generate a push on the pocket... Has good power at the point of attack, long arms and can punch lineman back, gets his arms up to affect passing windows when he can't get to the quarterback...
Agile with quick and nimble feet, changes direction well for his size, has the athleticism to get up and down the line... His quickness allows him to pursue down the line of scrimmage, good lateral movement and slide...
Has the strength to anchor and holds his ground at the point inside, does a nice job restricting running lanes; above average range with the ability to make plays off his frame... Quick to diagnose plays and get to the ball carrier, does good job of adjusting to screens, draws and misdirection plays...
Plays with a lot of energy, has a strong motor and good instincts, has a nose for the football, does a nice job in pursuit... Two-time team captain, good work ethic and a good locker room guy; a three-sport captain in high school who played both defensive end and wide receiver and also lettered in basketball and track...
Versatile, could play 4-3 DT (3-technique) or 3-4 DE (5-technique), would fit well in a two-gap system, has played both end and tackle for Connecticut in the last few seasons, but best fits playing 5-technique at the next level...
Performed well during Senior Bowl practices, showcasing burst off the snap and quick hands, and likely solidified his selection within the first three rounds.
Negatives -- Is overly reliant on power when rushing the passer and lacks counter moves, limiting his effectiveness as a pass rusher, other pass rushing moves are still developing, but can apply pressure with power and hustle...
Inconsistent get-off, creates some pressure but it rarely results in sacks, not a pass rushing threat if he doesn't win with his first step... Needs to play with better pad level, gets too upright and linemen can get underneath him, engages a little high and is inconsistent in his hand usage and placement to get off blocks...
Can be overwhelmed versus bigger blockers in the run game... Loses stamina as the game moves on, tires too easily and wears down toward the end of each half... His potential stands out but he needs to play with more consistency."
With some additional bulk in his lower half, he could really power his way into becoming a more disruptive player.
Reyes does very well against the run. His technique and bulk are lacking, but he does a great job of holding the point of attack. He would be an ideal nose tackle for a 4-3 defense given his tenacity and instincts against the run.
Given his height, he'll need to stay lower, use his pads to gain leverage and get underneath blockers. He is quick enough inside to fill running lanes and disrupt the flow of an offense in the trenches.
He lacks violent hand aggression and needs to get his body initiated with offensive lineman to get the early advantage.
As a pass-rusher, he relies too much on power rushing and will need to develop some moves to get around linemen and not just through them. Reyes is quick enough to do more as a pass-rusher, he just lacks the experience to develop this aspect of his game."