Denver Broncos: 2019 Rookie report card at the bye week
Malik Reed, OLB
After Bradley Chubb’s knee injury in the Jacksonville game, it was clear the next man up would be undrafted free agent Malik Reed.
Reed was outstanding throughout the Broncos’ preseason, taking advantage of offensive tackles and making big play after big play.
He was so good, people wanted him to get the Phillip Lindsay treatment and not have to play in the team’s final preseason game so he didn’t get hurt.
Since Chubb’s injury in week four, Reed has played over 85 percent of the Broncos’ defensive snaps and is, effectively, the full-time starter opposite Von Miller.
It should be noted that in the past five games, the Broncos are 3-2 and the defense has gotten along quite well in the absence of Chubb, who is a special player off the edge. Reed has been tremendous in his stead and has certainly earned himself a spot in the rotation going forward.
He does a little bit of everything well. We haven’t seen the pressures coming in bunches like we did in preseason play, but Reed is playing the run exceptionally well and he’s learning his way in coverage.
Pro Football Focus has him as one of the top 10 highest graded rookies in the entire NFL through the first half of the season.
You don’t want to grade guys on a curve, but considering Reed was undrafted, he’s done exceptionally well and hopefully, the pass rush opportunities will come more often for him. He’s got the talent in that regard.