A third-round choice in the 1991 draft by the Minnesota Vikings, Jake Reed is considered a part of the Herschel Walker trade as he was part of the future picks that switched hands in order to get the deal done between the Cowboys and Vikings. Originally a ‘wingback’ from Grambling- there was a lot of intrigue surrounding Reed and how he’d fit into a Pro style offense. (A wingback lines up directly next to a down lineman and then moves in motion staying upright and a step back at the other end of the line, to make catches, block, or rush with the ball. Probably the most famous wingback was Jim Thorpe. It certainly is a throwback position and is rarely used these days.) Jake had all the measurables and work ethic, but not the experience at receiver, playing there sparingly over his college career; However, with Cris Carter and Anthony Carter on the outside, the Vikings could afford to be patient.
It wasn’t until 1994, with the retirement of AC culminating with the team’s trade for Warren Moon that allowed Reed to finally take flight. He’d post 4 straight 1,100+ yard seasons for the Vikings, and Jake (85) paired alongside Cris Carter (122) set an NFL record for receiver duos with 207 catches. Reed became a dangerous verticle threat averaging a career high 18.3 yards per reception in 1996. Oddly over this period Reed never got the respect he deserved, and never was named to the Pro Bowl. In 1998, injuries and new receiver Randy Moss took their toll on Reed’s production. After the 1999 season, he’d sign with the New Orleans Saints. One and done with the Saints in 2000, Reed again returned to Minnesota, as a valued backup. He’d come off the bench and make 27 receptions for 309 yards and a touchdown. Oddly Jake then turned around and signed again with the New Orleans Saints in 2002, making 3 touchdowns on 21 receptions to call it a career.
Jake enjoys coaching, and was briefly the owner of the Frisco Thunder, an indoor football team of the Intense Football League in 2007. In 2012 Reed was inducted into the Grambling Hall of Fame. Reed was a first-team All-SWAC honoree in 1989 (2nd team) and 1990, leading all Grambling receivers as a senior with 954 yards and a 20-yard average per catch. Jake was honored to be one a select few players from Grambling to be invited to the Senior Bowl in 1990 as well. Reed also is still a Vikings fan through and through.
I really liked the Score ’91 and the Star Pics of Reed in his Grambling uniform. The photo of him on the Score card makes Reed almost look like a superhero, the way he bursts off of the page. There was a ProSet card, that I completely forgot about, and it was a great card and photo of him, but ah well. Reed is another player that I had found through SotL (before it went to a news feed format,) that I had been trying to track down. It did take a while but I was happy to get these three back in a bit over 200 days.
G/Gs 155/90 Rec 450 Yds 6999 Avg 15.6 Td 36 Lg 82t