Mention the name Jah Reid to any Raven’s fan and you are most likely to hear something like “ugh.” The 2011 third round pick was once a promising candidate on an unsettled offensive line. Reid has all the size and strength that you want at the tackle position. Even Ozzie Newsome was giddy after picking up Reid in the draft. “We wanted to make sure we got him,” said Newsome. “The two things Jah brings are his size and his arm length; that’s very important for a tackle.”
After that promising day, Reid proceeded to struggle in pass protection, show poor footwork and technique, and play a total of seven snaps in his rookie season. The Ravens tried to shift him to guard after his poor showing at right tackle, but he suffered a myriad number of injuries and an offseason arrest, followed by another injury. Reid became known for showing up out of shape consistently.
But this year’s training camp opened with a surprise when Reid lined up behind the penciled in starter at right tackle, Rick Wagner. Is the light finally going to switch on? Reid even received a bit of skeptical praise from Gary Kubiak. “Jah looks better, he’s lost some weight,” Kubiak said. “I wasn’t here with him last year, but he’s lost some weight. To me, he’s moving better. It’d be nice to see Jah stay healthy and really compete at a high level.”
Jah is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and may have finally gotten his wake up call. He has to feel the heat, which perhaps may be why he is suddenly over his long lingering calf maladies. Reid certainly has a golden opportunity in front of him. Rick Wagner is unproven, and Reid could conceivably steal the starting right tackle position away from him with a good camp and preseason.
The Ravens even moved the former second string tackle, Ryan Jensen, back to guard. So it looks like you could say that Jah Reid has a clear and defined path for success after three lost seasons. Or it could be a clear and defined path to free agency. The choice is ultimately up to him.