On Thursday night, the Seahawks were torn between taking Texas A&M guard Germain Ifedi and Alabama defensive lineman Jarran Reed with the 31st pick in the draft. They ended up with both.
Ifedi became the last pick of round one on Thursday. On Friday, the Seahawks traded up from No. 56 to No. 49 to pounce on Reed.
“Didn’t see him making it that long,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters regarding Reed. “Somebody asked me [Thursday] night if you had considered taking an offensive player, or an offensive lineman, or a defensive lineman, was it going to be an offensive lineman for sure? Quite honestly, it was between those two players. That’s why we made that move to go get [Reed].”
G.M. John Schneider called Reed “clearly the best run defender in this draft,” and Schneider expressed optimism that the coaching staff can help Reed improve as a pass rusher.
Carroll called Reed “the alpha dog” in the Alabama program (don’t tell Nick Saban that).
“They all talk about, ‘He is the guy,'” Carroll said. “Terrific leader in a great program, a very physical, tough program as well. He’s a guy that’s in the front of the line. We love all that about him. He brings a real mentality that we love. He has versatility to play both the one technique and the three technique, which is great. We’ll see how that works for us, in the matchups that we want to create. For us to continue to play like we’ve been playing, where we really build our defense from the inside out, this is a great spot for us to add a terrific player.”
The Seahawks have plenty of terrific players, so they don’t need to add many in order to continue to contend at a high level. While not glamorous picks, guys like Ifedi and Reed (who were among the 26 players on which the Seahawks applied first-round grades this year) will help the glamor players continue to bask in the spotlight.