No. 2: Texans Safety Justin Reid
2021 should be the season in which fourth-year safety Justin Reid takes a big lead in terms of a leadership role.
Now one of the elder statesmen of the Texans secondary, at least in terms of tenure with the team, the 24-year-old Reid finds himself entering a contract year and could set himself for quite the payday if he winds up having an outstanding campaign this season.
It won’t be easy. While Houston stockpiled its secondary with a number of veteran players this offseason, there’s still a general lack of talent at both levels. And the presumed lack of a pass rush will inevitably make players like Reid more susceptible to giving up chunk plays through the air.
But if we go back to Reid’s rookie year in 2018 after being taken in Round 3 out of Stanford, we can see the playmaking abilities are certainly there.
After all, his career-best 88 tackles and 10 passes broken up shouldn’t be viewed as a pure anomaly.
Those kinds of efforts will be what’s needed from Reid this season, as he looks to generate the needed chemistry within a defensive backfield that enters 2021 with more than a reasonable share of question marks.