4. Jarran Reed, DT
Jarran Reed had a quiet season at defensive tackle his rookie year. In many ways, that was expected in a Pete Carroll-coached defense, which has relied on veterans like Ahytba Rubin, Tony McDaniel, and Brandon Mebane in recent seasons. But there’s hope for the former Alabama run-stuffer.
After a season of reading NFL play-calls and learning from the veterans around him, Reed is a prime candidate to break out in 2017, much like defensive end Frank Clark did last season in his second year. (Note: Clark didn’t make this list, despite double-digit sacks in the second year of his rookie contract. I excluded him because I considered his pass-rushing numbers valuable, but somewhat obscured by the pass rush the Seahawks already get from veterans Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Jordan got on the list even though he has done nothing, because his contract was very cheap–any sacks he records is pure profit. Clark is a stud, don’t get me wrong.)
Reed was seen as a steal when the Seahawks drafted him in 2016 and gave him a four-year, $4.9 million contract. He’ll start to show his value even more in year two.
3. Bradley McDougald, S
Ooooh I’m getting excited. Bradley McDougald signed a one-year deal with Seattle worth $1.8 million this offseason to provide depth to the safety position, which suffered mightily after Earl Thomas broke his leg against the Panthers last season.
You may remember McDougald for his interception of Russell Wilson in the Seahawks’ 14-5 loss in Tampa Bay last season. I’m not a fan of all of the one-year deals Schneider handed out this offseason, mostly because he could let several key players walk after just one season.
McDougald could be headed for a larger payday in 2018, but in 2017, he can add value to the Seahawks’ already loaded defense in several ways. For one, a quality backup doesn’t hurt, who rely on their single-high safety more than most teams.
McDougald could also bring with him a new wrinkle in the scheming by defensive coordinator Kris Richard, possibly allowing him to bring McDougald onto the field as an extra safety, similar to what we’ve seen from the Cardinals for years.