After visiting with several offensive players in the past week or so; the New Orleans Saints will be shifting back to defense, more specifically the defensive line.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, former Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed will be headed to New Orleans on Thursday of this week for a pre-draft visit.
Reed makes up the current Alabama first round pick defensive tackle tandem with another possible Saints draft pick, in fellow teammate A’Shawn Robinson.
Robinson was and still is to some extent being mocked to the Saints to help solidify the defensive tackle position, along with another heavy mock favorite in Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins.
But there are some that feel although Robinson may be “ready” and hit his ceiling early, Reed has some upside and has yet to reach his full potential.
While Robinson looks stiff and clunky at times, Reed is seen to be a bit more quicker and plays with more bend and leverage.
Sep 20, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jarran Reed (90) sacks Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) in the fourth quarter of their game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama won 42-21. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Reed is still seen though as more of a run stuffing tackle than one who will help generate a lot of pass rush ability, and registered on two sacks in his two years at Alabama.
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When it comes to the run though, Reed stands out; and according to his scouting profile on NFL.com, he registered his 108 tackles in those two seasons only playing in 55 percent of the snaps with zero missed tackles.
That though could foster some concern for those that question if Reed can stay on the field for three downs, or if it’s worth a first round pick to have a two-down player.
Pro Football Focus noted in their draft guide that for this reason, it may cause a “value issue” when draft day arrives; since defensive tackles now in the NFL are expected to be able to not only play the run, but be an adequate pass rusher as well in the realm of someone like Kawann Short of the Carolina Panthers.
Yet, PFF also said that Reed’s technique is “excellent” when it comes to the position; and “handles double teams better than most defensive tackles in the class.”
Dec 31, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jarran Reed (90) during the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2015 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints may be taking a look at Reed as well for other than his football skills, since we know they are big on players who know how to handle adversity or mistakes.
Reed had been at East Mississippi Junior College for a year in 2012 trying to get some attention and he did where he almost signed with Ole Miss in December of 2012, before deciding to be a Florida Gator a few months later.
Although he had mad the move to Florida to start getting ready for the season, Reed had the rug pulled out from under him when he was told that he didn’t have enough college credits to make the transition.
He geared back up and stuck with it where he eventually ended up in Tuscaloosa, but not without one last hitch.
In July 2014 he was arrested for a DUI — which naturally drew the ire of Tide head coach Nick Saban, who suspended him from fall practice.
Reed though kept his nose clean since that time and said in an article for AL.com it was a “childish mistake”.
While the 12th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft may be a bit high to take Jarran Reed in, he could be someone who the Saints value if they were to find themselves in a trade down scenario later in the first round…..