Reed is an elite run stuffer with a constant ability to collapse the pocket at the point of attack. Anytime he was in the game, he was either double-teamed and he did a good job of holding his ground, or he controlled a single blocker.
Aggression in the run game is something he proudly displays along with a good effort on the field, but the big man tires quickly and was subbed out on obvious pass downs mainly playing 1st and 2nd down snaps.
Any interior defensive line spot is open for him. He was very versatile in Alabama’s scheme lining up as nose tackle, 3-tech, and on the edge as a 5-tech. In my opinion, his best bet is on a team where he can two-gap between the guards as he doesn’t have the penetrating ability to get through the holes between blockers.
Reed when asked can hold the point of attack on a double-team. Here the play goes for a touchdown, but it’s because of linebacker #10 who reads the wrong hole, and not Reed who controls two men.
His effort was clearly visible on tape. Watch as he chases down Deshaun Watson, Clemson’s speedy quarterback, in the National Championship out-of-bounds. Amazing hustle for the big man!
Really the only time he struggled was when the offensive lineman performed an excellent block getting his hands inside of Reed while maintaining length. This, in my opinion, is why he should not play 5-tech in the Pros. The average offensive tackle has longer arms than Reed which will put Reed at a disadvantage with his less than ideal arm length.
Overall, leverage, a bit of fiestiness, and power is how Reed won battles at Alabama and will continue to do so in the NFL in the interior defensive line.
Pro Comparison and Draft Projection
Pro Comparison: Eddie Goldman. With the same height and arm length, Goldman and Reed played very similar styles in college with their abilities to shut down the run. Goldman weighed 30 pounds heavier than Reed at the NFL Combine and also fell into the 2nd down. I believe Reed has better burst and upside in terms of pass rushing than Goldman, which will get him drafted into the 1st round rather than falling into the 2nd.
Projected Round: 1st. An elite run stuffing interior defensive lineman, Reed is an immediate upgrade at any interior defensive line position that allows him to 2-gap and control his blocker at the point of attack. Don’t expect pass rush from him over the first couple of years as he greatly needs to refine his technique. For now, he will be an excellent run defender to start his career.
Comparison between Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson
There are a lot of similarities between Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson. Both are great run stuffers. Both are about the same height and weight, and both played primnarilly on 1st and 2nd downs in Alabama’s defense. Additionally, they both have little to no pass rushing skills.
In my opinion the difference lies between Reed’s and Robinson’s upside. Currently, I feel like Reed is a better pass rusher (marginally), but Robinson has more upside in this respect. Reed does have more potential in becoming an elite run defender, though, while showing more effort.
Follow Samuel Gold on Twitter: @SamuelRGold.