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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Austin Reed (QB – Western Kentucky)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Austin Reed (QB – Western Kentucky)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Austin Reed

Austin Reed (QB – Western Kentucky)

6’2″ – 220 lbs.

Background:

Austin Reed spent a year at Southern Illinois before transferring to Division II West Florida, where he led the team to a 13-2 record and the DII title in 2019, throwing for 4,089 yards (56.3%, 8.3 YPA), 40 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He sat out the 2020 season and went 9-2 in 11 starts the following year, throwing for 3,375 yards (54.2%, 8.9 YPA), 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions before transferring to Western Kentucky. Went 9-5 as the starter in 2022, with 4,744 yards (64.6%, 7.9 YPA), 40 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Was 7-5 this past year, with 3,324 yards (61.5%, 7.1 YPA), 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Also has 20 career rushing touchdowns.

Positives:

Four-year starter who won wherever he went. Solidly-built passer. Doesn’t have a heel click at the back of his drops. Gets the ball out fast in the quick game. Has a relatively high release point with good elasticity in his arm. Can climb the pocket and drive the football with solid velocity over the middle of the field; overall arm talent is above average. Shows the ability to use appropriate touch when throwing downfield. Has a nice arc. Able to recognize blitzes and check down for easy completions underneath. Does a nice job of keeping his eyes downfield against pressure. Can complete passes while rolling to his right. Physical and athletic enough to get low and pick up the occasional first down with his feet. Scored quite a few touchdowns as a runner and was used on designed runs in short-yardage situations.

Negatives:

Comes from a wide-open spread offense with a high rate of screens, short throws under the defense and predetermined reads. Tends to stare down receivers and doesn’t always recognize defenders in the area, leading to turnover-worthy plays. Overall ball placement is iffy, especially in the screen game; forces too many adjustments to his throws. Tends to spray throws erratically. He throws some sideline routes with too much velocity and a lack of arc, leading to uncatchable balls. Will drift and attempt back-foot throws against pressure. Decision-making with a rusher in his face is iffy; needs to learn when to take a sack, rather than trying to force passes into tight coverage.

Summary:

A solidly-built quarterback with a fast release in the quick game, good velocity to attack defenses further downfield and the ability to recognize blitzes and hit his checkdowns. However, still has some concerning tendencies to his game, especially for someone who spent six years in college. Stares down targets, struggles with ball placement to all levels and makes some questionable decisions against pressure. He looks like a late-round developmental candidate whose production, winning record and solid arm will get him some looks.

Projection: Round 6/Round 7

More 2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Quarterbacks

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