News & Analysis

49ers move Eric Reid to linebacker

By Zach Aulakh
Oct 27, 2017
San Francisco 49ers

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CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 6: Kenneth Acker #20, Jaquiski Tartt #29 and Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers make a tackle against Jeremy Langford #33 of the Chicago Bears during the game at Soldier Field on December 6, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The 49ers defeated the Bears 26-20 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
  • San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh confirmed that fifth year safety Eric Reid will play at weakside linebacker, praising his “versatility” and adding that “he’s going to be unbelievable” in his new role. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said that the switch was prompted by the desire to, “get our best 11 guys on the field.”
  • Eric Reid started at linebacker in Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, playing 48 snaps, 46 of which saw him line up at or within 6 yards from the line of scrimmage. He struggled adjusting to his new role, posting a game grade of 29.2 against a potent Cowboys rushing attack.
  • Having started at strong safety for the first 2 weeks of the season, Reid sustained a knee injury which kept him sidelined for Weeks 3-5. During that span he was replaced by former second-round pick Jaquiski Tartt, who excelled in the role, posting game grades of 86.8, 79.7 and 85.8.
  • Reid impressed as a rookie, posting a career best grade of 80.6 in 2013. He followed this up with grades of 75.6 and 72.6 in 2014 and 2015 respectively, but struggled in an injury shortened 2016 campaign which saw him post a season grade of just 50.8.
  • The 49ers may be looking to their divisional rival, the LA Rams, who transitioned former Buccaneers safety Mark Barron to linebacker with great success. Barron saw his PFF grade jump from just 45.6 in 2014 as a safety to 77.8 in 2015 as a linebacker.  He is currently having a career year, having posted a PFF grade of 83.7 through the first seven games of 2017.

Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers, linebacker

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