Austin Gayle: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Why I Like This Pick: If Vernon Hargreaves is already off the board before they select at No. 14 overall, the Oakland Raiders must overlook their needs in the secondary to instead draft the best player available, which in this case, is former Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
Reed, a two-year starter at Alabama, is a versatile defensive lineman capable of playing several positions within both a 3-4 and 4-3 defense. With Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. moving towards more of a hybrid defensive scheme, Reed could play nose tackle in a 3-4, while he would likely rotate in as a both a 1-technique and 3-technique within a 4-3.
Though Oakland already has two starting caliber interior defensive tackles in Dan Williams and Justin “Jelly” Ellis (aka Meat and Potatoes), Reed would give the Raiders a fresh body to rotate in on early downs because of his adept ability to defend the run.
At 6’3”, 307 pounds, Reed is built like a tank in the middle of the defense, as he is an immovable force against double teams and will often win his battles in one-on-one situations. With a firm understanding of when to penetrate beyond the line of scrimmage and shed blocks, Reed is a proven playmaker against the run.
In the passing game, Reed will need time to develop other moves before he can become a three-down player, as he relies on his powerful bull-rush technique too often for it to have consistent success.