New Eagles safety
Two years ago, Reynolds enjoyed a breakout season - one in which he had six interceptions and returned three of them for touchdowns as he earned third-team All-America honors. Last season, he was an all-star once again. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Reynolds garnered first-team All-Pac-12 accolades after notching 87 tackles and an interception.
Even though he had a year left of eligibility, Reynolds declared for the NFL Draft and was selected in the fifth round (No. 162 overall pick) by the Eagles on Saturday.
“It was one of those things where, going into the season, I felt like I was ready," Reynolds said. "If I did everything I wanted to do going into this last season – which for me it was to become an all-around better football player, become a better tackler, help lead our Stanford defense and perform the way I wanted to – I felt like maturity-wise and with my football IQ, I was ready. I felt like I was ready to make that jump. In the end, I decided to go that way."
Reynolds met with the Eagles prior to the draft, but it wasn't the rookie safety's first trip to the City of Brotherly Love. Reynolds' father, Ed, was an NFL linebacker for 10 seasons with the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Following his NFL career, Reynolds worked in the NFL's office for 12 years and took his son to the NovaCare Complex in the 2004 season.
"One day, I just randomly went over and saw practice. I got to meet (Andy) Reid, Donovan McNabb, he was still there, and I saw the facilities then," Reynolds said. "During that (pre-draft) visit, kind of taking that next step, visiting the team because I could possibly play there was surreal to me. Not because I was a little kid awing at all the players out there, I wanted to be one of them in that green (jersey). It was a great visit overall."
Reynolds will now take the field as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and not as a spectator. At Stanford, he was deployed in multiple ways - as a centerfielder, in the box, able to come off the edge as well. Playing in an NFL-type defense, it was easier for the Eagles to project how Reynolds fits into their defense.
"He did it all for them," head coach Chip Kelly said. "That's another thing. Sometimes it's tough when you're evaluating some guys on film, because you see their athletic ability, but you're not sure how it's going to translate when you see people that run similar schemes to what are run at this level and what Stanford does it helps in your evaluation because you're not guessing or projecting. You say, here's evidence that he's done it."
After next weekend's rookie camp, Reynolds will be delayed because of the NCAA graduation rule which prohibits rookies from taking part in any additional team activities until the school finishes for the year. Reynolds reunites with his former Stanford teammate in tight end
"I have to wait until after my last final which is the second week of June," Reynolds said. "It’s something that Zach also went through and that’s something that I’ll definitely talk to him about in the next couple of days to see what he did to acclimate to the new system without being out there for that little stretch of time."
Reynolds believed that he's ready to make the jump from college to the NFL. The Eagles have presented him with the opportunity.