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2019 NFL draft: Introducing Malik Reed, Nevada’s freaky pass rushing prospect

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NCAA Football: Nevada at Air Force Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s NFL is constantly in search of versatile, athletic defenders who can bend the edge and get after opposing quarterbacks.

Nevada’s Malik Reed is ready to be the next man up.

A dynamic playmaker who showcases his skillset on film, Reed recently spoke exclusively with MCM about the art of pass rushing, why snap anticipation is the key to getting to the quarterback and how a former teammate has helped him throughout this process.

JM: How would you describe your skillset for our readers?

MR: I have a knack for getting to the quarterback. That’s the most important aspect of playing the EDGE position and I’ve been successful at doing that. My teammates instantly feel the energy I bring to the field. I have a high football I.Q. as well.

JM: Do you have a go to move when rushing the passer?

MR: I like to my use my speed and ability to get around the edge. My speed comes first and foremost.

JM: And how do you counter if that’s stopped?

MR: I might throw a spin move in there. I might use some power as well. Whatever it takes.

JM: How much of being a successful pass rusher is accomplished pre-snap?

MR: Not much of it to be honest. I feel like the most important aspect comes off the snap. Nothing is more important than a quick get off. Getting off the ball in a hurry can help you win immediately.

JM: How’s this process going for you? Have you met with a lot of teams?

MR: The process is going well. I met with a lot of teams at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. I saw a lot of the same scouts at my Pro Day. I’ve been talking to them throughout this process. I’ve been getting some good feedback.

JM: What was the Collegiate Bowl game like for you?

MR: It was awesome. I got to meet with a lot of scouts. It was nice to pick their brains about my skillset and what I’ve put on tape. It was a tremendous opportunity to go up against some of the best prospects in the country. I got some great coaching out there and picked up a lot of knowledge. I furthered my understanding of the game. I was thankful for the opportunity. I really enjoyed it.

JM: Do you have any private visits or workouts set up?

MR: I just went to L.A. recently. I met with the Rams.

JM: What’s your favorite part about rushing the passer?

MR: Getting to the quarterback. It’s all about getting sacks on the quarterback. I love it.

JM: Is there an NFL quarterback you’d love to sack?

MR: I’d have to say Tom Brady. People had trouble getting to him last year, especially in the playoffs. It’d be a great feeling to get him to the ground. He gets the ball out so quick so it’s definitely a challenge.

JM: Who are some of the best offensive linemen you’ve ever gone up against?

MR: I would have to go with Austin Corbett first and foremost. He’s a former teammate of mine. He’s playing in the league now for the Cleveland Browns. We had some great battles in practice. We were always competing and trying to get better. It worked wonders for both of us. We became better players by squaring off with one another. I’m a better person for it. He’s a great guy. He’s like a brother to me. I feel like I can ask him anything. I’ve been in constant contact with him throughout this entire process. He’s giving me some great advice. He’s right there to answer any question I may have.

JM: That’s amazing. I’m happy to hear that. In closing, what kind of impact is Malik Reed gonna make at the next level?

MR: I’m ready to make an immediate impact for whoever picks me up. It doesn’t matter where that may be. I can play and contribute on special teams if need be. I don’t wanna simply make it to the NFL. I wanna make an impact and have a long career. I’m coming in humbled and ready to work.