D.J. Reed, a gift from the 49ers, making waves for Seahawks’ defense
The Seahawks’ secondary has seen more of a shakeup than was expected in 2020 due to injuries all across the board, but with those injuries came a pleasant surprise in the emergence of third-year defensive back D.J. Reed.
Reed, a fifth-round draft pick in 2018 by San Francisco, was waived by the 49ers after 2019 as they didn’t expect the young defensive back to be able to play in 2020 due to a torn pectoral. That turned out to be an opportunity for the Seahawks, as general manager John Schneider claimed Reed off waivers and Seattle waited until he recovered from the injury.
Not only did Reed make it back for 2020, he made it back in Week 8. That game was against his former team, and filling in for starting nickel corner Ugo Amadi, Reed recorded an interception on San Francisco’s first drive of the game, showing the 49ers the mistake they made and proving the Seahawks right for claiming him.
Since then, Reed has seen time at nickel corner as well as on the outside with injuries to cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers and Quinton Dunbar. In six games, Reed has the one interception along with 39 tackles and two tackles for loss. He’s also returned five kicks for 137 yards and two punts for 19 yards.
Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps thinks it’s clear that Reed needs to be on the field more going forward for the Seahawks.
“I want to see D.J. Reed play. I love what I’ve seen from D.J. Reed,” Heaps said Wednesday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy. “I’ve been a big, big fan of his. He’s been great in the return game, I thought he had an outstanding couple games at nickel.”
Reed has shown his versatility in a big way, seeing snaps at nickel corner, outside corner and in the return game. He also has the ability to play safety if needed.
“Whatever the Seahawks have asked him to do, he has stepped up and he has gotten better each and every single week,” Heaps said.
Griffin, now healthy after missing four games with a hamstring injury, is back in his role as Seattle’s No. 1 corner, but Flowers was placed on injured reserve ahead of last week’s loss to the Giants, giving Reed got another start. Additionally, Dunbar, who is a starter when healthy, is working his way back from a knee injury that also landed him on injured reserve. Amadi is healthy and has been playing well of late, as well. But even if all those players were healthy and active, Heaps thinks Reed deserves to be on the field going forward.
“I would love to continue to see him play even when you have Tre Flowers and Quinton Dunbar return,” Heaps said. “His job will obviously be in jeopardy at that point because those two guys, (the Seahawks) want to get them back and they have great trust in them, but D.J. Reed has been a really outstanding player for them.”
Heaps isn’t the only one who feels that way. When discussing his team’s injuries ahead of Week 13 last Friday, Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Dave Wyman that he’s a big fan of Reed’s ability on defense and in the return game.
“He’s got that suddenness. He’s a really savvy football player and I think that’s one of the special qualities that you can’t coach and I can’t wait to see him play,” Carroll said. “I want to see him play more at the line of scrimmage but also in the kicking game.”
Listen to the second hour of Wednesday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.