The Patriots are hosting free-agent wide receiver Josh Reed on a visit at Gillette Stadium today, and for a closer look at what the nine-year veteran might bring to the team, Buffalo Bills radio analyst Mark Kelso shared his thoughts with ESPNBoston.com:
“He started slowly in Buffalo when he first was drafted, but I thought he came along and became an outstanding possession receiver. He has good escape-ability, not necessarily with quickness but he’s a pretty powerful guy as a slot receiver. He’s also demonstrated really good hands.
“Without question, he was one of the best, if not the best, blocking receivers in the NFL. So he gives you a lot in the running game. I think you can compare him to someone like Hines Ward in that aspect of the game. He’s a terrific blocking receiver. While I don’t know him well, from what I’ve heard people say he’s also a high-character guy and a good locker room presence.
“He doesn’t have breakaway speed to go the distance. As a slot receiver, he has a thick body and can take a hit over the middle, and he does a nice job using his body to position himself over the middle. I wouldn’t consider him a deep threat right now, but playing down in the red zone, he’s demonstrated excellent hands and a savvy-ness about him to position himself in those tight areas. Overall, I think his value is more as an inside [slot] guy.
“I think he still has productivity left. If the Bills were a 10-6 club like the Patriots last year, perennially contending for a playoff spot, I think they probably would have kept him. But they have a few younger guys, James Hardy and Steve Johnson, and they want to uncork them and see what they can do. They are retooling a number of things, so Reed became a product of attrition.”