As most know, the Kansas City Chiefs signed interior defensive lineman Jarran Reed earlier this offseason. Reed, formerly with the Seattle Seahawks, signed a 1-year deal worth $7 million after being released by Seattle. The Seahawks parted ways with Jarran Reed mostly to save $8.975 million in cap space. To many Chiefs fans, this move didn’t seem that significant. However, I believe Reed will have a big impact on the defensive line and the defense as a whole.
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has a common theme in defensive line pickups- athleticism and continuity. Taco Charlton, the 28th overall pick in 2017, played with Frank Clark at the University of Michigan. Charlton played 7 games alongside his former teammate and collected 7 total tackles to go alongside 2 sacks before an injury derailed his season.
Jarran Reed was also teammates with Frank Clark in Seattle. The duo combined for monster seasons in 2018. Reed started all 16 games and recorded 10.5 sacks and 50 total tackles, while Clark racked up 13 sacks to go with 41 combined tackles over 16 games. If the past is any indication of the future, it’s safe to say that good things happen when Jarran Reed and Frank Clark take the field together.
Over the past few years, the Chiefs have struggled mightily in stopping the run. Jarran Reed has proven in his time in the league that he is a force in the running game. Even though he isn’t widely recognized as a great run-stopper, Reed is a mountain of a man who can plug gaps with ease especially due to his size. Paired with defensive tackles Derrick Nnadi and Chris Jones, that is a huge problem waiting to happen for running backs.
Speaking of Chris Jones, the Jarran Reed signing will benefit him the most. Frank Clark and Jarran Reed are both game-wreckers when together, but Chris Jones will be reaping more of the benefits. As we know, Chris Jones is double-teamed most of the time, which is not surprising because of the impact Jones has on the game.
Jarran Reed continues to be an underrated signing for the Chiefs defense
Jarran Reed’s pass-rushing ability will force offensive lineman to pay him attention, allowing Chris Jones to line up on the edge or inside and have more one-on-one opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, teams will still double Chris Jones. However, that should free Jarran Reed to wreak havoc on the quarterback as well.
All in all, this was a very underrated signing. The Chiefs have needed help on the interior defensive line for a while now, and Jarran Reed offers a solution. Reed is a guy that can take pressure off Frank Clark and Chris Jones while still making an impact. This appears to be another fantastic (if unspectacular) addition to an already championship-caliber team.