2024 NFL draft prospect: Western Kentucky QB Austin Reed

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This series will be your guide to the 2024 draft class. From scouting reports to mock drafts and exploring different scenarios, we will be covering the NFL draft and the future of the Minnesota Vikings from all angles.

We are getting a head start this year by looking at the talent projected to be available in the upcoming 2024 NFL draft. Why start in the summer? It’s a good way to see how the players grow from year-to-year and we will be looking at players from a Vikings perspective.

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Right now, the Vikings will have seven draft picks in the 2024 NFL draft.

  • 1st round

  • 2nd round

  • 4th round

  • 4th round (via Lions)

  • 5th round (via Chiefs)

  • 5th round (via Browns)

  • 6th round


Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Reed

  • School: Western Kentucky

  • Year entering: Sixth-year senior

  • Height: 6020

  • Weight: 220

  • 247 Sports Recruiting Rank: Unranked as high school senior, three-star as a transfer (87 overall)

  • Notes:

    • Transferred from West Florida prior to 2022 season

    • Led West Florida to a D-II national championship as a redshirt freshman in 2019

  • Stats (Western Kentucky only):

    • Passing: 64.5% completion (389/603), 4,746 yards, 40 touchdowns, 11 interceptions

    • Rushing: 91 attempts, 224 yards, 8 touchdowns

  • Games watched: 2022 Hawaii, 2022 Austin Peay, 2022 Auburn, 2022 South Alabama


What does he do well?

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
  • Isn’t a traditional dual threat, but can use his legs in the running game

  • Strong arm capable of making NFL throws to all levels

  • Unafraid of fitting it into tight windows

  • Is patient in the pocket. Senses pressure well

  • Shows a proficiency to work through progressions

Where does he need improvement?

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
  • Shows good placement, but is inconsistent with it.

  • Footwork is all over the place. Doesn’t drive on the football enough and leaves things short and inaccurate. Also throws off of his back foot too often.

  • Needs to throw with touch more often. Likes to rip it when he doesn’t have to.

  • Locks into his target too often. This causes him to miss underneath defenders and they take advantage of him with interceptions. It happens often on dig routes.


How does he fit with the Vikings?

A player that has a lot of arm talent and can operate a vertical passing offense is one that Kevin O’Connell will like to bring into the fold. He is a pocket passer but isn’t afraid to use his legs and that will be a big determining factor in whether or not he becomes the quarterback of the future.

Where does he project to go?

Reed is a fascinating prospect. He committed to FCS Southern Illinois before transferring after a redshirt season to D-II West Florida where he won a national championship. He then tried to follow in Bailey Zappe’s footsteps and had a successful season this past year. One more season in the offense could reap big rewards and potentially spike his draft stock. The arm talent is there, but there needs to be development to become a legit prospect.

Projection: Early day three

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire