The Seahawks used pick No. 198 to select safety Jerrick Reed II from New Mexico. Reed was a favorite of the scouting/coaching staff and has experience playing safety, nickel cornerback, and special teams – which he’ll need to take advantage of in order to carve out a spot on the 53-man roster.
Relative Athletic Score (RAS)
Jerrick Reed was drafted with pick 198 of round 6 in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 7.32 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 263 out of 976 FS from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/RABUUrgSGY pic.twitter.com/MrSSTPXiBQ— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 29, 2023
Reed is a good, but not elite athlete according to RAS and was hampered by his size and agility grades. He’s plenty fast enough to play deep middle, and the 18 reps on the bench are impressive for his size. That 38” vertical could be important playing against bigger receivers since it gives him a fighting chance to make a play on the ball.
Since Reed doesn’t have a Mockdraftable page, the only comps we have are from RAS and they’re…less than inspiring. The only player who made it to the NFL from that list was Jordan Pugh who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round in 2010. He managed to parlay his late-round selection into a four-year career as mostly a backup and special teamer.
Looking at Reed’s size – and the positional versatility having played both safety and nickel cornerback in college – instantly brings Seahawks free safety Quandre Diggs to mind. Diggs was a cornerback in college for the Texas Longhorns and played nickel cornerback exclusively his first two years in Detroit before moving to safety near the end of the 2017 season. Reed – like Diggs – has similar experience playing multiple positions in the secondary. With that in mind, how do those two stack up according to RAS at Diggs’ current position of free safety?
Size-wise, they’re nearly dead ringers with Reed being just a smidge taller with longer arms. Besides the superior shuttle time for Diggs, Reed performed better in each test. This comp shows just how much each rep, extra tenth of a second, extra inch, etc. can affect the total RAS. Diggs’ athleticism has proven to be more than enough to make plays in the NFL, so the fact that Reed performed better in testing gives him a good starting point.
And if he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a threat to take it to the house as seen in the clip below.
The way Reed points with the ball for a split second as he crosses the goal line reminds me a bit of Diggs doing a similar thing to Bobby Wagner on the sideline in Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams last season. He’s got some juice.
Gut reaction to the pick
Small school project guys are always intriguing to me, so I was already inclined to like the pick. This late in the draft, you’re really looking for depth and special teams value with the potential to develop into more down the line.
Then, the post-draft interviews come out and you hear that Reed was one of the favorites of the Seahawks front office/coaches. They’ve been watching him for a few seasons and were hoping he’d fly under the radar. Then, Reed started to get a little buzz after his pro day performance, so Schneider used a sixth-round pick to make sure they secured the “angry little elf” as he so eloquently described him.
Maybe there’s something to that since Reed isn’t afraid to play physical and take down ballcarriers as evidenced by his 266 tackles at New Mexico with 182 of those coming in the last two seasons. He also forced 9 turnovers in his Lobos career including 2 FF in 2022 – one of which is in the following clip.
Seattle identified a player they really liked and made sure they came away with him instead of hoping he made it to undrafted free agency – nothing wrong with selecting him here.
Rookie season prediction
The Seahawks can always use depth at both safety and nickel cornerback, and Reed has the chance to fill those along with getting extensive work on special teams. It’s that third phase that will really determine whether Reed is on the roster after final cutdowns. Seattle lost special teams mainstays Travis Homer and Tanner Muse this offseason, so there are opportunities for Reed. I think he has the toughness and mentality to make it and the coaching staff really seems to love him. Reed will see time on all special teams units and will be one of their important pieces in that third phase similar to what Joey Blount did last year.