Houston Texans: Four candidates for DROY competing with Justin Reid

Houston Texans safety Justin Reid (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Houston Texans safety Justin Reid (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Houston Texans
Darius Leonard, a DROY candidate competing with Justin Reid (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Player #4: Darius Leonard

The Indianapolis Colts are certainly on the right track since Chris Ballard has taken over the team’s day-to-day operations as their general manager.  Although it has been a slow ascent, their rebuilding project looks like it’s right on schedule.  It’s all in alignment with a healthier Andrew Luck to command their offense.

But outside linebacker Darius Leonard, a second-round pick out of South Carolina State — I didn’t even know they had a football team — goes to show how well Ballard is able to find value talent in later rounds.  He was projected to fall as late as the third round but the Colts saw somebody that could impact their defense immediately and he definitely has.

The athletic, quick-striding 234-pound mammoth of a defensive player is quietly making his case for DROY as well.

In fact, Leonard is 2nd in tackles (83), 3rd in run stops (40) and 3rd in forced fumbles (4).  He

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also has 6.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries, one interception for 10 yards and four passes defensed.

His PFF grades are: 84.9 overall, 78.0 run defense, 83.3 tackling, 85.6 pass rush and 78.2 in coverage.

There is not a more complete candidate at this juncture than Leonard.  I know how the Colts finish their season will definitely matter into the voter’s minds but that shouldn’t be the case.  This man is the truth and I think he should be winner in all accounts.

The Houston Texans will be facing him this Sunday so it will be interesting to see how he exudes his impact out on the field.

In Conclusion

All in all, I think Justin Reid has made a fine case for himself but I just don’t think he has the numbers to win it all.  But it’s certainly the current nine-game win streak that is going to help those voting eyes notice him and the impact that he makes on the field.

Just so that you know, Reid’s PFF grades are: 84.3 overall, 67.1 run defense, 87.1 tackling (good for 1st among rookies), 69.5 pass rush and 81.1 in coverage.

Reid is so meticulous with his craft, we might see him win DPOY honors in his career if the chips fall in the right place.  It such a tough field to win but there’s some hope that he’ll notch that honor.  One thing’s for sure, Reid will be a perennial Pro Bowler for eons to come if he stays on his current trajectory.

Three attributes that make the Texans' defense the NFL's best. dark. Next

I wish nothing but the best for Reid as he continues his ascent in this great sport we call football and especially with the Houston Texans.

Good luck J.R.!