Winning a national championship is on the forefront of every player and coaches mind in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Regardless of the grind, college football is winding down and NFL scouts are lurking for this year’s brand of talent. The New Orleans Saints, who are 5-8 (last in NFC South), have three games remaining.
Head coach Sean Peyton and company are position to have the 11th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
ESPN’s NFL Draft insider Todd McShay projects the Saints going on defense with this pick, selecting Alabama’s defensive tackle Jarran Reed. Reed, 6-foot-4, 313 pounds, would be a system fit in his ability to fill gaps and stop the run.
New Orleans is last in the NFL in run defense, allowing 136.1 yards per game. Reed has anchored a Crimson Tide defensive front that finished first nationally against the run (74.0 ypg).
The Saints are 24th in the league in sacks with 25; however, it may not need Reed to attack quarterbacks when it has Kasim Edebali, Cameron Jordan and Hau’oli Kikaha. Reed does have two career sacks, including one this season. Alabama leads the nation in sacks with 46. A bottom line for New Orleans on defense is draft someone that can create negative plays.
Reed has excelled in this area since coming to Alabama in 2014. He chimed in with 108 career tackles and 11 tackles for loss. He is quick off the ball, despite his size and constantly demands a double team. Reed carried the Tide’s defensive line for much of last season, until A’Shawn Robinson got going.
Reed stands at 53 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack, eight quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. Alabama will face Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31.