Seahawks new defensive end Carlos Dunlap will improve Jarran Reed.
Jarran Reed needs help on the football field. Reed, at times, shows flashes of brilliance but they fade. When the Seahawks defeated the Vikings in week 5, Reed was one of the few Seattle bright spots in the first half. Then Minnesota changed their approach towards blocking Reed and Reed became invisible in the second half.
What Reed truly needs is to have a defense end who is more of a pass rusher than run-stopper. In 2019, Jadeveon Clowney was mostly very good for Seattle but Clowney has always been better at stopping the run than sacking the quarterback. Reed needed a different kind of end to help him.
The last time Reed had such a player was in 2018 when Frank Clark was still a member of the Seahawks. Clark was traded away before the 2019 season and ended up winning a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Cheifs. In 2018, Clark had 14 sacks for Seattle and Reed had 10.5.
But now Reed will have Carlos Dunlap playing next to him starting in week 9 as Seattle traded for Dunlap last week. And for Seattle to make a deep run in the playoffs, Reed must be consistently better than he has been the last two years. This season Reed is only on pace for 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles-for-loss and 5 quarterback hits. For a player making $9.3 million this year and $13.5 million in 2021, those numbers fall far short of expectation.
Carlos Dunlap will help Jarran Reed
Dunlap will change that, however. Reed will finally have a player that opposing teams have to account for on the edge. Dunlap is good at stopping the run and has consistently shown the ability to pressure quarterbacks in his career. But Dunlap will play the LEO role in Seattle and will be the first real LEO the Seahawks have had since Clark left.
Clowney, again while good, was more of a 5-technique. Sure, he was double-teamed a bunch but this was just as much out of a need for a team wanting to run the ball against Seattle as stopping Clowney from getting to its quarterback. Clowney’s approach differs from Dunlap’s and Dunlap’s approach is a better fit for Reed to play off of.
It may take a couple of weeks for Reed and Dunlap to learn what the other does. But by week 11 against the Cardinals, Reed will be better. Therefore, so will the Seahawks defense.