Justin Reid told his mother he wanted a small get-together for his NFL Draft party in 2018.
"She end up inviting like over 150 people, but it was just amazing," Reid says, laughing.
Three years later, the starting safety still has fond memories from the night he officially became an NFL player. The Houston Texans drafted the Stanford product with the fourth pick of the third round (68th overall).
"When your name is finally called, when you receive that phone call and you know, when Coach (Bill) O'Brien called me and said, 'This is Coach O'Brien with the Texans and we're letting you know we're picking you up with this draft pick.' It's the coolest. It's just a big wave of relief just because you finally feel like you have a destination and a goal in mind about where you're headed next."
Reid visited with 28 teams at the NFL Combine and flew out to meet 15 coaches in person. Still, he was disheartened when he was passed over in the first two rounds of the draft. Houston did not have a first or second-round selection that year after trading up in 2017 to draft Deshaun Watson. When the Texans selected him with their first pick of their 2018 NFL Draft, Reid's disappointment quickly faded away. Reid, surrounded by his entire family, chatted with the coaching staff that was just as excited to have him.
"The phone just got passed on the room and all of them were saying a few quick words to congratulate me," Reid said. "I'm just smiling ear to ear just happy to be talking to my new coaches and the feeling that these guys are going to go through. It's a once in a lifetime thing. I wouldn't trade it for the world."
In his first two NFL seasons, Reid has seen action in 31 games with 27 starts, recording 159 tackles (121 solo), three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, five interceptions including one returned for a touchdown, 15 passes defensed, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.
The 2020 NFL Draft takes place virtually from Thursday through Saturday, April 23. The Texans have seven selections heading into draft night. Click here to see when the Texans will be making their 2020 picks.