In Malik Reed's first two seasons, all he's been asked to do is fill in.
To have asked him to replace Von Miller in 2020 or Bradley Chubb in 2019 as a rookie would be too tall an ask for, truly, just about any pass rusher.
But what Reed has done this year in his second season has probably exceeded most modest hopes or realistic expectations. With 6.5 sacks, he's just a sack behind team leader Bradley Chubb, and he's emerged as a player who deserves plenty of attention from offenses.
Such a path for an undrafted player may strike some observers as surprising. As George Stoia writes for The Gazette, not everyone is shocked by his sudden rise.
"He's kind of like the mailman," said Ricky Thomas, who recruited Reed to the University of Nevada. "He shows up every day, you can count on your mail being delivered and if you're not careful, you'll take people for granted like that. He just shows up and delivers."
Stoia's profile dives deep into what has made Reed who he is, and it's full of fun stories, including how he told a little, white lie to start youth football a year early, how he wanted to study orthopedic surgery and more.
"Reed's path to the NFL has certainly been unique, from flipping tractor tires in Dothan, Ala., to studying orthopedic surgery in Reno, Nev., to shocking the NFL in Denver in his first two seasons after going undrafted," Stoia writes. "But now that he's made it to the league — an accomplishment he credits to his strong faith and supportive family — he says he's here to stay."
Below the Fold
About three quarters through the 2020 season, Pro Football Focus has updated its All-Pro Team by position. Bryce Callahan and Justin Simmons make the first-team roster, and Garett Bolles and Brandon McManus made the second team.
Well, Kendall Hinton may return to his actual position. Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday, so it appears that the Broncos will have a quarterback available on Sunday for their game against the Chiefs.