The Houston Texans should invest in safety J.R. Reed for their future in the secondary. He’s worth the development and could be a huge piece for the future.
The Houston Texans are looking toward the 2020 season and a lot of work has to be done in order for this team to be in alignment to compete. This team has a plethora of talent and on paper, is one of the best in the league.
The problem is that with all of the talent that has been assembled over the years, they still find a way to under-perform and if it wasn’t for the alpha males such as Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and the departed DeAndre Hopkins, this team would certainly be up the creek without a paddle.
I want so badly for this team to succeed but it’s always something every season — if it’s not the offense, it’s the defense as well as vice-versa — and it ultimately comes doing to this team putting up or shutting up in order to meet the objectives at hand.
I’m hoping that with Bill O’Brien handing over the play-calling duties to long-time confidant Tim Kelly full-time next season plus the promotion of Anthony Weaver to defensive coordinator will start to iron out the inadequacies this team had over the course of last season.
We’ll find out if this works but in the meantime, it’s time to plan for the future and the NFL Draft — which will be going as scheduled — will be a great way for the team to get to that point.
Most of us can admonish that the secondary needs a refresh with an influx of talent and I think they can use the draft to improve at that position.
Although Justin Reid and Tashaun Gipson are the anchors to the position at this time, there’s nothing wrong with bringing in capable talent to develop into hopefully a productive starter in the future.
Although Gipson can still produce significantly, the clock is ticking on him faster than it is on Reid, who is going into his third season, versus the ninth for his counterpart.
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because of his immense productivity and headiness of the game. He’ll be able to learn quickly on the fly and there’s no rush to get him out there to play.
Since safety is a position that’s relatively secure this season, they don’t necessarily have to draft one all that high but significant enough to bring someone in to develop.
The 6-foot-1, 202-pound safety with 32.5-inch arms and 9.88-inch hands can run the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds, which is certainly enough to help out in some way on the defense.
I’m sure any NFL team would like him a bit heavier but that can all be solved easily once he’s in the hands of the Houston Texans.
He was the first-team recipient for the Walter Camp All-America as well as All-SEC and was just about on every watch list you could imagine in terms of on the defensive front last season.
His father, Jake Reed, played for 12 seasons (1991-02) with the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints so the business runs into the family.
What the experts are saying
He’s an intriguing prospect so here’s what the experts are saying about him:
"“Productive, football-savvy prospect with unremarkable traits and explosiveness, but an elevated football IQ to make up for it. He needs to prove he can hit the baseline speed and athleticism numbers as a split-safety who can drop into the box or cover tight ends despite his slender frame. His instinctive brand of football allows him to play chess against quarterbacks, but he could struggle if the offensive scheme is able to isolate him against a vertical target. The size, length and speed won’t impress and he’s not a rangy player, but toughness and smarts could push him beyond the measurables.”"
"“In 2019, Reed had 54 tackles with an interception and seven passes broken up. He was a solid and dependable safety for Georgia. Reed is smart and reliable defender who would be drafted higher if he had a better skill set.”"
Now let’s see Reed in action with the Bulldogs:
The bottom line
This will be O’Brien’s second draft and his first being named officially the general manager of the Houston Texans. It’s tough to tell if the mantra that Brian Gaine had for draftees, “stronger, longer, faster” necessarily fits with what the team is looking for these days.
I think O’Brien is just looking for guys that are smart, hard-workers, obedient and if they have a few shortcomings, those can be overcome with development. I see Reed being that type of player with this team but it’s tough to tell if they want a guy that’s not as fast as what they’ve had over the years.
Only time will tell but I’m putting my vote in for a guy that’s likely going to be available in the mid-rounds of this draft.
Nonetheless, I think this guy will be of tremendous help to any NFL team let alone the Houston Texans. Let’s see how this pans out.
Reed accumulated 199 tackles — 107 solos — along with five interceptions, 3.0 sacks, 9.0 tackles-for-loss, seven passes defensed, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble through his three seasons with the Bulldogs.