Michigan State’s Jayden Reed selected by Green Bay Packers in 2nd Round of NFL Draft

MSU WR Jayden Reed
MSU WR Jayden Reed(Matthew Schmucker, WILX | Matthew Schmucker, WILX)
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 9:15 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State wide receiver/returner Jayden Reed was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the second round (No. 50 overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft on Friday, April 28.

Reed is the highest Spartan wide receiver drafted since Devin Thomas was selected in the second round (No. 34 overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by Washington.

The three-year letterwinner was an electric playmaker for the Spartans during his three seasons (2020-22) in East Lansing and earned first-team All-America honors as an all-purpose player by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as a junior in 2021. In just three seasons and 31 games, he finished his Spartan career ranked among MSU’s all-time leaders in receptions (sixth with 147), touchdown catches (tied for seventh with 18) and receiving yards (12th with 2,069).

Following his successful collegiate career, Reed was impressive in the pre-draft process with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl in February, as he was named the National team’s wide receiver practice player of the week. He was also a standout performer at the NFL Combine in March.

As a senior in 2022, Reed ranked second on the team in catches (55), receiving yards (636) and touchdown catches (5), all of which ranked among the Big Ten leaders (tied for 10th in receiving TDs; tied for 11th in receptions and receiving yards). He led the Big Ten in punt returns with his 8.8-yard average (13 returns for 114 yards) and ranked third on the team in all-purpose yards with 781 (636 receiving, 114 punt return, 20 kick return, 11 rushing). He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a receiver from the coaches and third-team accolades as a kick/punt returner from the media.

Reed recorded season bests in receptions (9) and receiving yards (117) against Wisconsin on Oct. 15 and accounted for both touchdowns in the double-overtime win – he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman on the first play of overtime, then caught a 27-yard pass from Payton Thorne on third-and-12 in the second overtime that clinched the victory for the Spartans. His performance against the Badgers landed him on the Paul Hornung Award weekly honor roll.

Reed’s explosiveness was one of the main reasons for MSU’s school-record turnaround season in 2021 – he not only led the Spartans with 59 catches for 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he also ranked first in the Big Ten in punt returns (19.8 avg.; 12 returns for 238 yards) and tied for the FBS lead with two punt returns for touchdowns (62 yards vs. Nebraska, 88 yards vs. Western Kentucky). His 10 TD grabs were sixth most in an MSU single-season and his 1,026 receiving yards ranked ninth most.

In addition to earning first-team AFCA All-America honors, he was named one of five finalists for the 2021 Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the nation’s most versatile player, after averaging 18.0 yards per play (1,674 all-purpose yards on 93 total plays), which led the Big Ten and ranked tied for seventh in the FBS. Forty-two of Reed’s 59 catches (.712) went for either a first down or a touchdown, and he led MSU with 32 explosive plays (20-plus yards), including 20 receptions, nine kick returns and three punt returns. In addition, seven of his 10 TD catches were from 25-plus yards.

Reed capped his spectacular junior season by claiming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Offensive MVP honors in MSU’s win over Pitt, in which he caught six passes for 80 yards and two TDs, including the go-ahead score from 22 yards out with just 2:51 on the clock.

Reed started all 31 Michigan State games he played in and had at least one catch in every one of those games. He started 12 games as a freshman at Western Michigan in 2018 and earned Freshman All-America honors for the Broncos before sitting out the entire 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules. In his first season as a Spartan in 2020, he led the Spartans with 33 catches for 407 yards and three TDs in the seven-game shortened season.

As a freshman at Western Michigan in 2018, Reed tallied 56 receptions for 797 yards with eight touchdowns to garner FWAA Freshman All-America honors.

Over his 44-game collegiate career (31 at Michigan State, 13 at Western Michigan), Reed caught 203 passes for 2,866 yards and 26 touchdowns. The dynamic returner accumulated 581 punt return yards (14.9 avg.) and 841 kick return yards (20.0 avg.) in his career, returning three punts for touchdowns (two at MSU in 2021; one at WMU in 2018). He also totaled 4,341 all-purpose yards in his collegiate career (2,866 receiving, 841 kick return, 581 punt return, 53 rushing) and started 43 of his 44 collegiate games, including all 31 at MSU. Reed scored a total of 30 TDs in his career (26 receiving; three punt return, one rush), including 21 at MSU (18 receiving, two punt return, one rush), and had nine 100-yard receiving games in his career (five at MSU; four at Western Michigan in 2018). He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from Michigan State in December 2021.

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