RENTON – After bolstering their offensive line in the first round of the draft, the Seahawks beefed up on the other side of the ball Friday by trading up in the second round to take defensive tackle Jarran Reed of Alabama.
The Seahawks moved up seven spots, acquiring the 49th overall pick from Chicago for No. 56 and No. 124, a fourth-round pick. And they got a player who was considered not only one of the top defensive tackles in this year’s draft but one of the top prospects regardless of position. ESPN’s Todd McShay, for instance, rated Reed as the 13th best player.
Reed was the last to be selected among the 25 prospects who attended the draft in Chicago. He walked onto the stage to greet commissioner Roger Goodell with a pack of Skittles in his hand, a nod to retiring Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
“It was a long wait but it was worth it,” he said.
As for the skittles?
“I was chewing on the Skittles when I got the call,” Reed said. “I was just thinking like, ‘Hey, Marshawn loves Skittles.’ So I thought it would just be kinda funny. Just having a little fun.”
This scouting report on Reed lists him at 6 feet 4 and 313 pounds and describes him as “a text book run-stuffer who has the ability to start immediately in the NFL and have an impact.” He’ll have a chance to start given Seattle’s void at one defensive-tackle spot following Brandon Mebane’s free-agent departure.
The same scouting report notes that one of the knocks on Reed is that he didn’t provide much in the way of pass rush for Alabama, often coming off the field in passing situations. Reed recorded two sacks in two seasons with the Crimson Tide to go along with 111 tackles, including 11 for loss.
Reed identified his biggest strength as stopping the run but said he can and will do whatever he’s asked.
“Whatever I need to do, it’s going to get done,” he said. “Whether it’s two-gapping or whether it’s playing one gap, rushing the passer, it’s all going to get done – I promise that.”
The selections of Reed and right tackle Germain Ifedi in the first round mean the Seahawks used their first two picks on their two biggest needs, which is notable for a team that hasn’t always let need dictate its draft decisions.
Reed spent two seasons at Alabama after transferring from junior college. He’s originally from Goldsboro, N.C. and has a daughter named Jacey who was born on April 8.
“It’s more than me. It’s for her as well,” he said when asked how three weeks of fatherhood has changed him. “I’ve got to grind hard for her.”
This marks only the third time under general manager John Schneider that the Seahawks have traded up in the draft to select a player. While it was a rare move by Seattle, it wasn’t unexpected. The Seahawks entered the second day of the draft with nine remaining selections over the final four rounds. Had they made all of those picks, all nine players might not have been able to make a roster that is still one of the league’s most competitive.
It marks the second straight year that Seattle has spent a second-round pick on a defensive lineman, having drafted end Frank Clark last year.