Jarran Reed comes to Seattle with something to prove, having fallen to the second round of the draft (No. 49 overall) last weekend before the Seahawks called his name, roughly 30 spots after many expected he might be taken.
RENTON — Jarran Reed smiled easily and often as he met Seattle media members in person for the first time Saturday following the second Seahawks rookie-minicamp practice.
And, as he said, why not? A defensive tackle from 2015 national titlist Alabama, he just signed a four-year contract that included a $1.756 million signing bonus and Saturday got to practice on a glorious spring day on a field nestled next to a glittering lake.
“I can’t be mad with this,’’ Reed said, looking around.
Still, Reed comes to Seattle with something to prove, having fallen to the second round of the draft (No. 49 overall) last weekend before the Seahawks called his name, roughly 30 spots after many expected he might be taken.
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Reed was the last of the 25 players invited to Chicago for the draft to get picked, one of six who had to wait until the second day to be drafted.
Reed went to Chicago prepared, saying he had “two actual suits for just in case. It actually turned out I needed it.’’
Reed betrayed no bitterness at having fallen, playfully displaying a bag of Skittles as he took the stage for the inevitable greeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Reed said he understood fully the meaning Skittles have for Seahawks fans due to their association with Marshawn Lynch, though he said it all just sort of happened.
“They had a whole table of ’em (backstage),’’ Reed said. “I was backstage in the green room just eating a bunch of Skittles, so my Mom was like, ‘Just take ’em on the stage.’ I thought it would be funny to just take ’em on the stage. I try to just stay bright, stay humble.’’
But while munching on Skittles was satisfying enough, Reed acknowledged dropping in the draft “made me more hungry. It made me feel like I needed to go back and improve my game more and play better and play harder. So now this team’s going to get a polished player.”
Reed was one of a few tackles regarded as run-stuffers first with potentially limited pass-rush ability who fell in the draft, including his Alabama teammate A’Shawn Robinson.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said last week the increasing use of nickel packages appeared to lead to something of a devaluation of defensive tackles regarded as good against the run but suspect rushing the passer.
“So (as a team) I’m not going to spend a first-round pick on a player who may only be on the field for one out of every three downs,’’ McShay said. “So that’s the issue.’’
The Seahawks appeared to read that trend right, saying later they considered taking Reed with their first selection at No. 31 overall before deciding to go with guard Germain Ifedi. When they saw Reed still available late in the second round, the Seahawks moved up from 56 to 49 to grab Reed, who along with Ifedi was one of 26 players Seattle general manager John Schneider said the team gave a first-round grade.
The why was simple — “He’s the best run-stuffer I’ve seen in a long time,’’ said Seahawks area scout Jim Nagy.
That’s something the Seahawks need with veteran nose tackle Brandon Mebane having signed as a free agent with San Diego.
“Different body types, but similar skill sets,’’ Nagy said of Reed and Mebane.
Nagy said he thought the idea that Reed can’t develop as a pass-rusher is mistaken.
“The way they play their front there (at Alabama) they don’t ask him to really get up the field,’’ Nagy said. “But what you did see on tape was his ability to push the pocket and get pressure that way.’’
Asked about the idea that some NFL teams thought he might be limited to a run-defending role, Reed said, “I’m not worried about that. I’ll for sure show them the capabilities that I’ve got, what I can do. The season’s up ahead. That’s all I can say. … It’s definitely motivation. But things happen.’’
And his smile indicated that all in all, it really wasn’t all that bad.
Cable: Britt will move to center
The move the Seahawks made this week with Ifedi — deciding to have him start his career at right guard instead of tackle — isn’t the only one the team made on the offensive line this week.
Offensive line coach Tom Cable said in an interview on ESPN 710 Seattle that third-year vet Justin Britt will be moved to center after starting last season at left guard, and in 2014 at right tackle.
Britt is moving to center so the Seahawks can have rookie Rees Odhiambo and second-year player Mark Glowinski battle for the left guard spot. There had been a thought Glowinski might step in at right guard — where the Seahawks need a replacement for the departed J.R. Sweezy. But with Ifedi starting at that spot, the team will move Glowinski to the left side.
Britt played a little center at Missouri and will now apparently battle for that spot with Patrick Lewis — who started nine games there last season after taking over for Drew Nowak — and Joey Hunt, who was taken in the sixth round. The Seahawks last week released Nowak.
Cable was not available to the media Saturday.