Jarran Reed was destined to be a Seahawk.
Heck, the Alabama defensive tackle was munching on Skittles when commissioner Roger Goodell announced Seattle had drafted him in the second round Friday night.
“It was crazy,” Reed said, “because I was chewing on Skittles when I got the call and I was just thinking, ‘Hey, Marshawn (Lynch) loves Skittles!’ ”
C.J. Prosise is a former Notre Dame defensive back and then wide receiver who coach Pete Carroll says will have a “special” role as Seattle’s new third-down running back.
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Tight end Nick Vannett was, in the Seahawks’ minds, the only true blocking tight end in this draft. Vannett already knows the way from Ohio State into his new team’s hearts. He says the “12s are the best fans in the league.”
And offensive lineman Rees Odhiambo is a native of Kenya who moved to Texas when he was 7 because his mother, a chemist, wanted him to get a better education in the U.S. That was a year after his father died. When the Boise State tackle — who the Seahawks see as a guard — was 17, his mother passed away, too.
Those are your newest Seahawks draft picks.
The Seahawks surprised all by ditching their recent trend of doing the unexpected in the NFL draft. This year, they targeted their most glaring needs immediately in the first three rounds.
“The first round, we went offensive linemen so you guys would be happy,” general manager John Schneider joked late Friday.
“Kidding … maybe.”
One night after drafting tackle Germain Ifedi of Texas A&M for a depleted offensive line, Seattle drafted Reed, the run-stuffing Alabama defensive tackle, at No. 49 overall.
Last month, the Seahawks and their league-best run defense lost nine-year run-stopper Brandon Mebane from the middle of their defensive line to a free-agent contract with San Diego.
Schneider said Thursday that Seattle’s choice in the first round came down to Ifedi or Reed. They couldn’t believe Reed was still available late in Friday’s second round.
Seahawks scout Jim Nagy is from Alabama. He has been watching Reed and the Crimson Tide for years.
“He’s the best run stuffer I’ve seen in a long time,” Nagy said Friday night.
Nagy said Reed is taller and longer and thus has a different body type than the squatter Mebane. But the scout said Reed has “similar skill sets" to the man who anchored the Seahawks’ run defense for nine years before he left in March to San Diego in free agency.
Coach Pete Carroll said Reed was the versatile, athletic, driven tackle the Seahawks wanted “to play the way we’ve been playing, to build our defense from the inside out.”
Seattle has four choices remaining to end the draft on Saturday, one each in the fifth and sixth rounds and two in the seventh and final round.
Reed was in Chicago on Friday when he became the third defensive lineman that Schneider and Carroll have drafted in the first two rounds since they took over the Seahawks in 2010. He was backstage at the draft because he was expected to be a first-round pick Thursday before becoming an “unbelievable value” for Seattle, according to Nagy.
“Patience is a virtue. It’s a long wait, but it was worth it,” Reed said via a FaceTime video link from Chicago, where he was backstage at the draft as an expected first-round pick. “I’m happy to be a part of the Seahawks organization.”
His road was longer than his wait.
He left his native Craven County, North Carolina, and seemed headed to Division II football as a linebacker, but decided to attend Hargrave Military College in Chatham, Virginia. He then enrolled at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Mississippi. He remembers there were two gas stations there.
Major-college programs offered him scholarships soon after, and he chose home-state North Carolina. Then he changed his mind to Mississippi — then changed his mind again, to Florida in early 2013. But he didn’t have enough credits from his junior college yet to leave, so he stayed another year at East Mississippi C.C. Only then, three years after he left high school, did he and Alabama find each other.
Now that’s a long road to the NFL.
“You know, this whole time I had this certain feeling ... right before it happened I said, ‘Mom, I’m going to the Seahawks,’ ” Reed said. “I’ve been talking about the Seahawks. I’m just real happy and excited that it actually happened, and to have my dream come true and play on that defense.”
How much did Schneider like Reed? He traded Seattle’s fourth-round pick Saturday, No. 124 overall, to Chicago to move up from 56 to 49 in the second round to get the two-year starter at Alabama who was second-team All-Southeastern Conference.
The Seahawks love Reed being 6 feet 2 7/8 inches tall and 311 pounds with long (33 3/8-inch) arms. (He’s always been big: He was born 23 years ago at 10 pounds, seven ounces and first walked at 7 1/2 months old).
Reed has a daughter born three weeks ago, Jacey. Yeah, that changed him.
“Now,” he said, “it’s more than me.”
Reed had a driving-under-the-influence charge in July 2014 after allegedly backing into another car in a parking lot and registering 0.13 on a blood-alcohol test in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of his college. Nagy and Schneider said the Seahawks viewed that as an over-and-done incident and mistake of youth, and that he had no other off-the-field issues at Alabama.
Prosise’s arrival in the third round comes because the Seahawks have former All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch retiring and his heir, 2015 undrafted rookie wonder Thomas Rawls, recovering from a broken ankle and torn ligaments from December. The Seahawks expect Rawls to be back for the start of the 2106 regular season.
“Relieved,” Prosise said Friday night from his family’s home in Petersburg, Virginia.
Prosise was a full-time running back for only one year at Notre Dame, when he was a 1,000-yard rusher last season after Irish running back Tarean Folston sustained a season-ending knee injury. He was a wide receiver before that, and before that was Notre Dame’s special-teams player of the year for leading his team in special-teams tackles. He will replace Fred Jackson, Seattle one-year free-agent veteran and third-down back last season.
In 2014 Prosise became the first Irish player with at least 500 yards receiving and 100 yards rushing in the same season since the last Notre Dame pick by the Seahawks, Golden Tate, did that at ND in 2009
Four picks after Prosise, the Seahawks used the choice it added Thursday in a trade with Denver on a true blocking tight end they’ve been seeking for years. Vannett is 6 feet 6, 257 pounds with long arms, big hands and renowned athleticism. Vannett caught 55 passes in four years for the Buckeyes, but Seattle drafted him to be an in-line blocker next to its tackles.
Seattle’s starting tight end Jimmy Graham, not a blocker, is recovering from patellar-knee surgery. He may or may not be back for the start of the coming regular season.
“Words can’t describe how I feel right now,” Vannett said.
Odhiambo’s main issue at Boise State was his health. He was the Broncos’ left tackle and earned All-Mountain West Conference honors, but had a season-ending injury last October. He missed multiple games three straight seasons at Boise State because of knee and ankle issues.
The Seahawks see him as a guard.
“I love run blocking,” he said.
Those words are music to Seattle’s ears.