Making his NFL debut, the 49ers first-round draftee recorded six tackles, including two big – and legal – hits, from his safety slot in San Francisco’s 10-6 loss to the Denver Broncos at Candlestick Park.
“We’re football players, so it was exciting to hit somebody else – and to really hit somebody else,” Reid, a 6-foot-1, 213-pounder said. “That’s my favorite part… I like contact.”
“Coach [Fangio] was saying that he is looking for a physical safety. That’s something that I think I can bring to the scene.”
Reid, who gained his sure-tackling reputation at LSU, first appeared during the Broncos’ initial offensive drive of the second quarter. He said he was disappointed not to face Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, who played only one drive.
“I was kind of hoping that I’d get to see him just because I was watching him when I was growing up,” Reid, who donned No. 35 on his red jersey, said. “I got to watch him from the sidelines, which isn’t a bad deal.”
Reid, who alternated playing alongside
The pads-to-pads impact gained Reid acclaim on the home team sideline.
“They were giving me a hard time,” Reid said of his teammates. “Ahmad [Brooks] told me I needed to get into the weight room, hit ‘em a little harder.”
"I thought he's somebody to highlight," Harbaugh said.
Reid added that he was prepared for the motion in front of him, in part from studying the playbook and talking with veteran
“I got my feet wet a little bit,” Reid said. “Overall, I was happy with the way I played.”
“It’s been my dream since I was a kid to be in the NFL. And to be out here with these guys on such a great team, it’s a blessing.”
The 49ers top draftee was far from the only rookie to impress in his debut.
Lining up at left outside linebacker,
Moody, a sixth-round draftee out of Florida State, suffered a knee injury, according to the team, and did not return to the game. He did say that his knee is fine postgame.
“Getting that first game in, I think that elevated my comfort level even more,” Moody told 49ers.com. “Practice against our o-line and how good they are – playing against them gets me ready. Now that I got that out of the way, I’ll feel more comfortable going into the next one.”
Offensively, tight end
"He caught the ball in traffic a couple times. A lot of room for improvement," Harbaugh said of his young tight end, "but that was a good first start for Vance."
Speaking to the 49ers offensive coaches’ creativity, McDonald also lined up in the backfield in the third quarter. The Rice product is attempting to fill the cleats of tight end Delanie Walker, who departed via free agency this offseason.
Also worth mentioning:
Other rookies to debut included seventh-round picks
Four 49ers draftees – wide receiver