SANTA CLARA -- Safety Eric Reid, the 49ers' first-round draft pick Thursday night, arrived at the team's practice facility Friday dreaming big.

"We're starting against Green Bay, and if I can pick off Aaron Rodgers, that'd be nice," Reid said of the 49ers' regular-season opener Sept. 8.

Rodgers, who received a historic contract extension Thursday from the Packers, is the first quarterback Reid will face if he wins the starting free safety spot, vacated this offseason by Dashon Goldson.

The 49ers traded up 13 spots Thursday to select Reid, a starter the past two seasons at LSU.

"I'm honored they traded up and got me," Reid said. "I expect to work hard, earn the respect of my teammates and hopefully I can start."

Reid's competition at safety will come from Craig Dahl, C.J. Spillman, Darcel McBath, Trenton Robinson and Michael Thomas.

"He has the ability to go back in center field and make a play on the ball," LSU coach Les Miles said on NFL Network. "He's going to identify with the best coaches on the team. Eric Reid will be a great contributor."

Reid should be a quick learner, if his report cards are any indication. He had a 4.6 grade-point average in high school, finishing sixth in his graduating class of 366, a ranking he clearly recalls because: "I'm proud of it." Reid had a 3.2 grade-point average at LSU, where he majored in marketing and plans on completing his degree in the coming offseasons.


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Although he's a Louisiana native, he wasn't near New Orleans when the 49ers lost there in Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens. But Reid watched with keen interest.

"I was disappointed about the power going out. I was all, 'Come on, New Orleans. You've got to get it together,' " Reid said. "I was rooting for defense. I knew it was going to be a struggle and it was a great game."

A few weeks after the Super Bowl, Reid met with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at the scouting combine, and they barely talked about football. Instead, they recalled Harbaugh attempted recruitment of Reid to Stanford years earlier. Reid said Harbaugh "made fun of me not coming to Stanford, and he said he knew what kind of player I am."

Reid made visits to six teams' facilities -- the 49ers weren't among them -- and he had nine private workouts. Asked if any NFC West teams were involved, Reid said: "I don't even know the divisions yet."

Upon arriving at the 49ers facility Friday, Reid had lunch with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

"He's got the size and speed that you like in a safety," Fangio told 95.7 The Game. "He's a good, smart player. He comes from a good background. All the intangibles are good. He's a guy we think will fit in here and hopefully be a good player for a long time."

Reid's tackling ability has come under question during the draft's evaluation process, and Fangio didn't sound concerned about it.

"Hopefully we'll be able to teach him why he's missed some tackles in the past and get him to eliminate those or keep them to a minimum," Fangio added. "We're confident he'll be a good tackler and he'll need to be to join this group."

Reid met a few players in the 49ers weight room Friday, and he apologized as their names escaped him. "I'm definitely looking forward to meeting Donte (Whitner)," Reid said of his safety counterpart, who flew out earlier Friday to his offseason home in Miami.

Reid posed for pictures while holding up a No. 1 jersey. Beside that number representing draft status, he wore it on his jersey at LSU. He'll have to change to a higher number in the NFL, and he's undecided on what number to take, as is the case with recently acquired cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

Reid came out to the Bay Area some eight years ago with his mother, Sharon, who works as a registered nurse and would travel here on occasion from their Louisiana home.

Reid attended the draft in New York, and he admitted that his 3-year-old daughter "stole the spotlight" when he took her on stage with him while being introduced. Once little LeiLani fell asleep later that night, Reid said: "I sat back and soaked it all in."

Reid endorsed the possibility of the 49ers signing his former LSU teammate Tyrann Mathieu, a prolific cornerback and return specialist who sat out last season because of reported drug issues.

"He's a great football player and we all know he made a mistake," Reid said. "He paid the ultimate price as a football player and that was missing a season."

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.