Texans general manager Brian Gaine announced before the 2018 NFL Draft that he believes the Texans addressed any positional issues before the draft through signing free agents such as Aaron Colvin, Tyrann Mathieu, and Zach Fulton. This mindset led to Gaine drafting Justin Reid, brother of safety Eric Reid, with the 68th overall pick in the draft.
Drafting Justin Reid at this pick was the biggest steal of the entire draft.
A projected first rounder, Reid amassed 94 tackles and five interceptions his junior year at Stanford. This spectacular play led to him receiving All-Pac-12 and All-American honors, which caused him to forgo his senior year to enter the draft.
During the combine, Reid continued to impress, with his 4.4 second 40-yard dash and 6.65 second three-cone drill both ranking third among all safeties. These impressive combine results were followed by most scouts projecting him as a first or second round pick.
The reason most scouts projected him to go so high is because he has the makings of a Pro Bowl safety. Standing at 6’1″, 207 pounds, Reid has been hailed for his ability to quickly diagnose plays and then use his tremendous speed to get to the ball. That is why you’ll almost always see Reid at or near the ball when looking at tape.
Reid is also acclaimed for his ball skills and tackling ability, both showcased by his 94 tackles and five interceptions his final year at Stanford. All of these skills have led most NFL scouts to believe he will be an immediate NFL starter who has Pro Bowl potential.
And according to an NFL general manager, “There aren’t too many issues in his game. If he tests well he could sneak into the back half of the first is my guess. He’s better in coverage than his brother.” This is a major compliment because Justin Reid’s brother, Eric Reid, has been a starting safety in the NFL for five seasons and even made the Pro Bowl in 2013.
But despite these rave reviews by NFL scouts and his obvious talent, Reid slipped down draft boards on Thursday, and ended up falling out of the first round altogether. This continued on Friday, with Reid continuing to slide until the Texans finally scooped him up in the third round.
If Brian Gaine hadn’t had the best player available attitude, the Texans probably would’ve passed on Reid and attempted to go after a lineman or more immediate need. But luckily for the Houston faithful, Gaine selected Reid, and was in turn able to make the biggest steal of the NFL Draft.
Let’s rock young man!! https://t.co/Ew8hu2XpLn
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) April 28, 2018
Now that the Texans have drafted Reid, it will be interesting to see how he competes with incumbent safety Andre Hal, who the Texans recently signed to an extension. But whatever results from this competition between Hal and Reid, every fan should know that the Texans defense is going to be scary in 2018.