By Jim Weidner. When the NFL draft rolls around each spring, fans hear about how standout, big-time, college football players’ games will translate to the NFL game. Fans also hear about players they might not have heard about before; players whose journeys involved playing at a lesser known school, i.e., players termed “diamonds in the rough.” One player who fits into this category is Temple defensive end/linebacker Haason Reddick.
Reddick came to Temple University via Haddon Heights, New Jersey. While playing for the Haddon Heights football team, Haason Reddick played safety and running back. Unfortunately for Reddick, he only played four games his senior season due to a fractured femur. No doubt the injury hurt his chances of landing a college scholarship. With little attention from bigger schools, Reddick made the Temple football team as a walk on.
After redshirting his first season at Temple, Reddick eventually took the field as a linebacker and played eight games, totaling 14 total tackles and one sack. In his sophomore season, Reddick was converted to defensive end. That season, he played seven games chalking up 24 total tackles and sacking the quarterback two times.
Hasson Reddick made his mark during his junior and senior seasons. In those two seasons, he combined for 14 ½ sacks, 72 total tackles, with 35 ½ of those tackles for a loss. For his outstanding play in the 2016 season, Reddick was named all-conference in the ACC.
His last two seasons at Temple were strong, but where Reddick grabbed the attention of NFL scouts was at this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl. There, the little known defensive end from Temple put scouts on notice about his outstanding skill set. Not only did Reddick show potential as a defensive end in pass rushing one-on-one opportunities against offensive tackles who played at Power Five universities, but he also did something he hadn’t done since his freshman season, that is, stand up and play linebacker.
When a player can show scouts he can do more than one thing that player’s draft stock rises. That happened for Hasson Reddick at the Senior Bowl, he stood out both rushing the passer and as a standup linebacker. Before the Senior Bowl, many believed that Reddick would play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but after his impressive showing in the Senior Bowl, many scouts now believe he can play linebacker in a 4-3 defense. Count Daniel Parlegreco from DTP Draft Scout as one who believes he can play in a 4-3 defensive alignment. Parlegreco has him rated in his draft guide as his number one outside linebacker in a 4-3 (Strong or Weak Side).
A top thirty-two NFL pre-combine player according to Ourlads draft scouting service, Reddick reminds some of former Pittsburgh Steeler and current Miami Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Timmons came into the NFL from Florida State and looked like he might be an outside linebacker with the Steelers. But, Timmons found success inside in a 3-4 and has had a stellar career. Another good comparison for Reddick would be New England Patriots stand out linebacker Dont’a Hightower. Reddick seems to have a comparable skill set as both play on their feet and with their hand on the ground rushing the quarterback.
Many didn’t project Hasson Reddick as a possible first round draft choice when this all started, but he will be a lock in this year’s draft. Some have him pegged going as high as eleventh to the New Orleans Saints, while others having him going twenty second overall to the Miami Dolphins. Wherever he lands, expect Hasson Reddick to have a solid if not spectacular career, at whichever position he plays.