Dave Boling

Dave Boling: Seahawks hit target with conventional draft picks

VIDEO: Seahawks' second-round pick Jarran Reed in his first Seattle interview

The Seahawks traded up to No. 49 to take the Alabama defensive lineman
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The Seahawks traded up to No. 49 to take the Alabama defensive lineman

What’s with the Seahawks?

Where’s the surprises?

For two days, they’ve been picking prospects according to chalk. Addressing obvious needs.

Not only that, but they’re bringing in some guys who look like steals and should be able to contribute quickly.

What the heck are we left to quibble about?

Friday’s second and third rounds continued the trend of the first, when they took the big, strong offensive right tackle they needed (Texas A&M’s Germain Ifedi).

Grabbing highly regarded Alabama nose tackle Jarran Reed in the second round was a stunning move — buying prime beef at a discount.

Reed was viewed by many as not only a first-rounder, but perhaps even a high first-rounder. The Hawks had pick No. 56, but traded up to No. 49 to be certain to get him.

That they would send Chicago a fourth-round pick to make the deal is an example of how much they think of Reed. General manager John Schneider loves adding fourth-round picks, not giving them away.

Scout Jim Nagy called Reed “the best run-stuffer I’ve seen in a long time.” And beyond that, called him “the alpha dog” of the Alabama program. That’s the national champion Alabama program, the program that had six players drafted in the first two rounds.

There’s any number of reasons to like this pick.

Here’s one. When he appeared on a FaceTime conference call with us, he was asked about his reputation as the emotional leader of the Crimson Tide. Here’s what he said: “It’s the way I play. I play with a passion. I play with a purpose.”

If coach Pete Carroll hears that, he may have them print that as a sign for the locker room or the hallways. Play with passion. Play with purpose. Thank you, Jarran Reed.

Here’s another reason, and you’ll need to search the internet to find the clip of a play Reed made late in the national championship game against Clemson.

Clemson was going for a two-point conversion to cut the margin to 38-35, putting them within a field goal of tying the game.

Reed jammed the middle, shucked his blocker, saw quarterback Deshaun Watson rolling toward the right sideline. Reed took the perfect angle of pursuit and raced to nail Watson short of the end zone.

Remember, Reed is a 311-pound nose tackle. He was such a huge body moving so quickly that he looked like a Crimson Tide all by himself.

That was a massive play on the biggest stage against an elite opponent.

Being great isn’t an occasional thing, though. Maybe as impressive about Reed is the report that throughout Alabama’s 15 games, Reed never missed a tackle.

Granted, nose tackles operate in tight quarters rather than the open field, but to not let a single back or quarterback slip out of his grasp is extraordinary.

Reed should be able to step into an important role, one that has been handled so consistently by veteran Brandon Mebane, now gone to San Diego as a free agent.

When the Seahawks have been at their best, the middle of the line was impenetrable. That allowed the linebackers to scrape off and make enough tackles to earn the headlines.

That will be Reed’s job.

The three players they collected in the third round were equally appropriate. A pass-catching running back from Notre Dame (C.J. Prosise), a blocking tight end from Ohio State (Nick Vannett) and a physical but raw guard from Boise State (Rees Odhiambo).

The Seahawks have four more picks Saturday to get wild, but thus far, they’ve been surprisingly orthodox — but right on target.

Dave Boling: @DaveBoling

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