With the calendar flipping to July and offseason programs recently wrapping up, NFL training camps will begin around the league in less than a month. To celebrate the new incoming season, we will be breaking down the Seahawks' 90-man roster over the next several weeks, exploring best and worst case scenarios and what to expect from each player entering the 2021 campaign.
D.J. Reed, Cornerback
Height/Weight: 5-foot-9, 193 pounds
2020 Stats: 62 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, 75.8 opponent passer rating, two interceptions, seven pass deflections, two fumble recoveries
Is it much of an exaggeration to say Reed is a philosophy changer? Because after taking a chance on the 5-foot-9 outside cornerback, the Seahawks—and more specifically coach Pete Carroll—switched gears on the size preferences they once made famous at the position. Nowadays, corners no longer have to boast tall statures and long arms to play on the outside in Seattle. All that matters is playing big in other ways and Reed certainly did that in 2020. Taking over full time for the injured—and now departed—Quinton Dunbar, the Kansas State product solidified himself as a mainstay in the Seahawks' secondary. With Shaquill Griffin also out of the picture, Reed is now the top dog in an overhauled and uncertain group of cornerbacks. So while he may have to compete for a starting job again in 2021 as a natural part of Carroll's coaching style, it's unlikely he'll be watching from the sidelines in Week 1.
Best Case Scenario: Duplicating or exceeding his 2020 performance, Reed answers quite a few questions about the Seahawks' secondary and earns Pro Bowl honors in the process.
Worst Case Scenario: Unable to recapture the magic of 2020, Reed struggles early on and eventually loses his starting job during the season.
What to Expect in 2021: Last year, Reed proved he can hang and there's no reason to think he can't repeat his efforts this fall. Though he doesn't possess the ideal size for the position, he embodies the physical and dominant mentality of Seahawks corners of old. With a massive chip on his shoulder after the 49ers essentially gave up on him last summer, Reed's aggressive play style may be viewed as reckless abandon. But there's a grace to it—an intelligence rarely found in corners with such limited starting experience as him. Fans should expect to see more of that this season, and perhaps again on punt returns as well. And if he puts forth the encore performance many are anticipating, there will be a nice payday awaiting him in March.
Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primers
Alex McGough | Darvin Kidsy | Greg Eiland | Joshua Moon | Cam Sutton | Walter Palmore | Jared Hocker | Brad Lundblade | Aashari Crosswell | Myles Adams | Jon Rhattigan | Aaron Fuller | Bryan Mills I Jake Curhan | Jarrod Hewitt | Connor Wedington | Nate Evans | Danny Etling | John Ursua | Gavin Heslop | Pier-Oliver Lestage | Tommy Champion | Cody Thompson | Josh Johnson | Saivion Smith | Jordan Miller | Aaron Donkor | Robert Nkemdiche | Alex Collins | Tyler Mabry | Damarious Randall | Cade Johnson | Cedrick Lattimore | Phil Haynes | Geno Smith | Kyle Fuller | Travis Homer | Tyler Ott | Rasheem Green | Ben Burr-Kirven | Penny Hart | Jamarco Jones | Aldon Smith | DeeJay Dallas | Nick Bellore | Stone Forsythe | Colby Parkinson | Al Woods | Cedric Ogbuehi | Alton Robinson | Jordan Simmons | Pierre Desir | Ryan Neal | Tre Flowers | Michael Dickson | Jason Myers | Freddie Swain | Cody Barton | Bryan Mone | Benson Mayowa | Rashaad Penny | Ugo Amadi | Ethan Pocic | Tre Brown | Darrell Taylor | Will Dissly | Ahkello Witherspoon | Kerry Hyder | Marquise Blair | Brandon Shell | D'Wayne Eskridge | L.J. Collier | Gerald Everett