With all the hype surrounding Jonathon Cooper and Gio Bernard when it comes to Tar Heels in the NFL draft, it’s easy to forget some of the other players that are expected to officially make the leap from college to the pros for UNC come next weekend. One guy that should make a splash in particular is Kevin Reddick.
Reddick’s importance to the football program over his four years as a Tar Heel are absolutely understated. He came to North Carolina via New Bern High School and Hargrave Military academy and immediately fit right in to UNC’s defensive minded system. Not only did he fit in, but excelled and he did so in between to college standouts and current pros Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter.
Although he’s short for most middle linebackers measuring at 6-1 and doesn’t possess great sideline to sideline speed, Riddick is physically fit and very athletic. He logged 85 total tackles during his senior season which included 6.5 sacks. Reddick may not cover the whole field as quickly as other middle linebackers, but he does have quick speed on blitzes and hits the gaps as hard as anyone.
Reddick may ideally fit best right away in a 3-4 system as the second guy in the middle that Is used as a blitz specialist and a thumper geared to stop the inside run, but there is no reason to believe that he can’t anchor the middle of the defense as a rookie when called upon in a 4-3 system.
Reddick is projected as a late second day or early third day selection and will most likely be the fourth Tar Heel taken overall behind Cooper, Gio and Sylvester Williams and potentially fifth depending on where OT Brennan Williams lands. Teams to watch out for with Reddick will be teams like the Buccaneers and Dolphins who have serious depth issues at linebacker as well as other more pressing needs elsewhere on the roster.