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How Jarran Reed fits into the K.C. Chiefs defense


Over then weekend the Kansas City Chiefs made another significant move along the line. This time it happens to be on the defensive side, when they signed Jarran Reed (DT) to a one-year contract worth up 7 million with 5 million guaranteed. Jarran Reed, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, has had a pretty up and down career to this point. Reed absolutely exploded in 2018 with 10.5 sacks and 50 tackles but was hindered that season due to a sports-hernia. In 2019 Reed’s growth, and career, was stunted due to some legal issues in 2017 that led to a 6-game suspension by the NFL. Reed had a bounce back season in 2020 when he recorded 6.5 sacks and 38 tackles. Let’s take a closer of the player that is Jarran Reed.

Jarran Reed played college ball at the University of Alabama and was drafted by Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2016 draft. Reed had a rather slow start to the first couple years of his career netting only 3 sacks in his first 2 seasons but was still a steady contributor in the run game producing 34 tackles in 2016 and 45 tackles in 2017. In 2018 Reed started to live up to the expectations given to him by the Seattle organization, and put the NFL on notice when he had 10.5 sacks and 50 tackles in 16 games.

The physical skills are there, and Reed has turned into exactly what was advertised during that 2016 draft. For an in-depth view on what Reed offers on the field I went over to a familiar film analyst on twitter, Craig Stout.


Jarran Reed can consistently win against double teams and provides interior pressure though strength and discipline, and can collapse a pocket on any given play.


The run defense was a huge concern the past two seasons for Kansas City. A move to address this glaring need is probably way overdue.

One of Reed's many strengths is how intelligent he is. Play recognition is off the charts in the last play as he recognizes the screen, peels off the rush, and gets disruptive at the point of attack.


Reed is comfortable doing the things that will be asked from him in a Steve Spagnoulo defense including all the stunts that Brendan Daly is notorious for.


Now, my expectations for Jarran Reed has been throttled down a bit because, since his best year in 2018 where he played next to Frank Clark, he happened to hit a few speed bumps along the way to where he is now. In 2019 Reed was suspended six games for a violation of personal conduct related to an incident in early 2017, and that seemed to have really halted his progression. In the 2020 season he had a little bit of a bounce back season racking up 38 tackles and 6.5 sacks but the Seahawks were still comfortable cutting Reed this off-season.

With all the negative out of the way, I do think this was a fantastic addition to the team, especially for the money. The one year 5 million contract is perfect for both parties. For the Chiefs this provides quality talent along the defensive line for a reasonable price. Another avenue this opens up is the ability to go draft a DT and not have to rely on a rookie to fill the position to start the 2021 season. In a down financial year, this makes perfect sense for a player of Reed’s talent. This deal acts like a “contract year.” He gets a incentive based contract where he can make up to 7 million and he has put himself into a position to get a much larger payday next year.

Jarran Reed seems to be a perfect fit for Kansas City, and Kansas City is excited to have him.

He's comfortable with the players (Having had his best year while playing next to Frank Clark) and after reportedly having interest from 8 other teams, I’d say it’s safe to say he’s comfortable with the front office as well. Reed has upper echelon potential and elite physical skills and you can see spurts of it over the past few seasons. Kansas City signed Reed at a good price that is incentive driven so I’m extremely excited for the beginning of the season knowing our defensive line will look like: Frank Clark, Jarran Reed, Derrick Nnadi, and Chris Jones with Mike Danna and Taco Charlton as depth pieces. In an off-season where it seems the Kansas City Chiefs have struck out in so many free agent deals, I really think this deal is a home run.

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