The Texans selected Stanford safety Justin Reid with the fourth pick of the third round (68th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.
General manager Brian Gaine said several things stood out to him while evaluating Reid: (1) the prototypical body type of the 6-1, 210-pound safety, (2) his production and (3) his versatility, from lining up at strong or free safety and effectively playing the run or the pass.
“Very smart guy,” head coach Bill O’Brien said of Reid. “Brian (Gaine) had a really good vision for the guy and we talked about it a lot. We saw him there, we were able to go get him. It was an exciting pick for us so we’re really, really happy to add him to our roster.”
The youngest brother of Eric Reid impressed teams at the NFL Combine, where he clocked the second-fastest 40-time among safeties at 4.40 seconds, six reps of 225 on the bench press, a 36.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-8 broad jump. His 6.65 3-cone time was one of the top ten at the entire Combine.
Reid played three seasons at Stanford (2015-17) and recorded 99 tackles (52 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack five interceptions, six pass breakups in 2017.
In the Harris 100, John Harris ranks Reid at No. 55 overall. Harris writes:
“He played 30% of his snaps at safety, 54% at nickel/slot cornerback and 15+% were down in the box. He has excellent cover skills. I see him as a best fit as a nickel/slot with the way he can cover. The range he has in coverage can help set him apart from a bunch of other safeties in this class. He makes more plays on the ball and is better in coverage than he is a rock hard hitter. He doesn't pack a wallop when he hits, but he doesn't miss many tackles, if at all. I love his coverage range and that'll make teams more interested.”
Brian Gaine, in his first draft as general manager, fortified the Texans secondary with another key addition at safety this offseason, Tyrann Mathieu.
Reid’s brother Eric played alongside Mathieu at LSU and it appears that Justin will get to do the same in Houston.