Day 2 of the 2016 draft started out with a pleasant surprise for the Seattle Seahawks. Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed, a player with a first-round grade on Seattle's draft board, was still available as the draft progressed well into the second round.
Eventually, the Seahawks felt it was time to take action, and for just the third time in seven drafts under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, Seattle made a trade to move up, sending their second-rounder and a fourth-round pick to Chicago for the 49th overall pick, which they used on Reed, a player Schneider described as being "clearly the best run defender in this draft."
In landing Reed, the Seahawks were able to get a player they considered taking a day earlier with the 31st pick used on Texas A&M offensive tackle Germaine Ifedi, another indication of the depth of this 2016 draft class. The Seahawks have been known as a team that likes to trade back, something they indeed did on Thursday, moving back five picks in the first round before taking Ifedi, but they'll also jump at a chance to get their guy if the right player is available.
"We'll pick in the first round if there's a good player," Schneider said. "Last year we didn't pick in the first round because we had 16 players ranked in the first round, and we had the opportunity to acquire a Pro Bowl tight end (Jimmy Graham), and I thought that was a pretty good deal. Then this year, we actually had 26 guys (with first-round grades)—I don't know how the rest of the league viewed it, that's just the way we viewed it—and Jarren for us was so unique."
The Seahawks had a long wait between picks after taking Reed, but things really got going at the end of the third round, where Seattle held three of eight picks from 90 to 97, taking Notre Dame running back C.J. Prosise, Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett, and Boise State guard Rees Odhiambo.
"It seemed like a long time," Schneider said. "We waited forever, then it just went bang, bang, bang like that."
"We were able to take four guys tonight, really excited about that, the first being Jarran," Schneider said. "We're just very excited about being able to trade up and get him. We didn't see him making it that long… We were able to pick C.J. Prosise, who we're really excited about. Pete can talk at length about being a third-down kind of runner that he is, then we came back and took Nick Vannett, who to us was the only true Y, meaning big, blocking-type of tight end in this draft. Big guy who the last two years has really come on—we think he still has a great upside. Then taking Rees was actually a very emotional deal. He's a very talented guy who has had a string of bad luck these past two years. He has lost both his parents and overcome a lot in his life."
Schneider wasn't ready to put rookie-season expectations on any of their newest Seahawks, but said, "I think it's going to be a hell of a class."
Here's what Carroll and Schneider said about the four picks made by the Seahawks Friday:
DT Jarran Reed, Alabama, second round, No. 49 overall
(Carroll on if they have a specific role in mind for Reed) "We'll see how far we can extend it. He's going to play first and second-down run stuff for sure, he's a great run defender. We'll see how he does with his pass rush. We're going to coach him a little differently than he's been coached in some regards, and we'll see what that means. He's a great competitor, he's tough as nails, and we're thrilled to get him. He's got a big role, he'll fill the role our tackles have been playing the last few years. He keeps us the same in that regard, that we've got good inside tough guys that can stop the run game."
Carroll added that Reed won't necessarily just jump into the nose tackle spot previously held by Brandon Mebane because both he and Ahtyba Rubin have enough flexibility that they could mix and match those two: "Rube can go both ways. We'll see how these guys work, work together. We'll find out. Both of them have the flexibility. I want to get our hands on him [Reed], and coach him up. It's going to work out. I'm not worried about it at all."
RB C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame, third round, No. 90 overall
(Carroll on how Prosise fits in the offense) "I think this is a very unique player. I love talking about him. He was a receiver for the early part of his career. Came in as a DB, safety, was moved to receiver and when they had a need, was moved to running back. He was a guy that was playing all the time, he can run the routes, he can do everything that a wide receiver does. They moved him to running back and I think surprised everybody. I think the coaches there, as well. He had a fantastic season, he's a break away, big speed, big time running back, as well as a catcher. We've had our eye on him throughout, we hoped we could get him because we have a very special role that we want to put him in. We'll just let him go from there. He's going to do things that he's really good at and then we're going to expand his role as he can handle it. There's no reason he can't be a first-down back too. We know what we're going to attempt to do with him on third down, we're going to give him a great shot to show us how he can fit in."
TE Nick Vannett, Ohio State, third round, No. 94 overall
Schneider was particularly excited about Vannett's blocking ability, something he says is becoming harder to find in a college prospect: "That's very important. We've been looking for a true Y for several years now. It's weird, they don't come along very often. So Ohio State, how he developed there, it's kind of a natural progression for this guy. It was great to see how he produced at the Senior Bowl too."
Vannett isn't just a blocking tight end, however. Carroll was also impressed with his pass-catching skills: "He's good. He's a good player. I think you heard his coaches talking about him too. He's adept, catches the ball well, smooth. Their offense didn't feature the tight end. Like John said, it's so rare to get a regular tight end, an in-line player. We don't see many of these guys in the college game right now, and he's a real classic I think for us to get. He's really big, he's 6-6 and he's around 260. We think he's going to develop. As a catcher, we have no problem throwing him the football, we're not going to stay away from that at all. But we really need him to be an impact player at the line of scrimmage for us."
Carroll added: "We were really surprised that we had the shot at him, and fired up that we got the best blocking tight end in the draft this year, without question. The other tight ends may want to argue about that, but we saw it, so we're excited about that."
OG Rees Odhiambo, Boise State, third round, No. 97 overall
While Odhiambo played tackle at Boise State, the Seahawks plan to play him at guard, Carroll said: "I told him that right when we first talked to him that we'd like to see him play guard. He's played tackle and he really fits the formula for being a guard that we're going to give him a shot right there. We'll see what happens. We'll be open to whatever he brings us."
(Schneider on what offensive line coach Tom Cable learned about Odhiambo he worked him out at Boise State's Pro Day) "Strength. Strength and flexibility. Tom felt, at the end of the day, that Germain and Rees were the strongest guys that he put his hands on throughout the spring."
The Seahawks are scheduled to pick four more times Saturday, once in the fifth and sixth rounds, and twice in the seventh round. Seattle's fifth- and sixth-round picks are compensatory picks, which means they cannot be traded.
Round 1 | Pick 31 | No. 31 overall: OT Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Round 2 | Pick 25 | No. 49 overall (from Chicago): DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
Round 3 | Pick 27 | No. 90 overall: RB C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame
Round 3 | Pick 35 | No. 94 overall (from Denver): TE Nick Vannett, Ohio State
Round 3 | Pick 35 | No. 97 overall: OG Rees Odhiambo, Boise State
Round 5 | Pick 34 | No. 171 overall*
Round 6 | Pick 40 | No. 215 overall*
Round 7 | Pick 4 | No. 225 overall (from Dallas)
Round 7 | Pick 26 | No. 247 overall
* - Compensatory pick (compensatory picks cannot be traded)
The Seahawks coaching and front office staff reconvened at the VMAC draft room for the second day of the 2016 NFL Draft.