By virtue of his family pedigree and intelligence, Justin Reid could emerge as an unusually precocious NFL rookie for the Houston Texans.
The younger brother of former San Francisco 49ers veteran free-agent safety and Pro Bowl selection Eric Reid, Justin Reid spent countless hours studying the game with his brother in the Bay Area over the past two years.
As Eric Reid plied his trade for the 49ers, Justin Reid excelled for Stanford and built a reputation as a hard-hitting, fast defensive back. Now, the Texans' third-round draft pick, their first overall selection at No. 68 overall, is hoping to put his advanced knowledge to use.
"We break down film together, I go and visit him at his house," Justin Reid said during a conference call. "We watched games together. He would let me in on what the game plan was that week, how they're playing certain personnel.
"The NFL is a matchup league. It got me into NFL strategy and what they were doing against opposing teams, so I would already have a feel for the routine whenever I got to this stage."
Reid was the Texans' top draft pick because they lacked a first-round pick and a second-round pick.
They filled needs in the third round with two other selections: tackle Martinas Rankin and tight end Jordan Akins.
Reid is a big, fast safety at 6-foot-1, 207 pounds. He's run the 40-yard dash in 4.40 to 4.38 seconds and posted a 36 1/2-inch vertical jump. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 16 times at the Scouting Combine.
Now, Reid joins former Arizona Cardinals All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu in the Texans' secondary.
Mathieu saluted the pick on social media, writing, "Let's rock, young man!!"
Mathieu teamed up with Eric Reid at LSU and will now form a tandem with his younger brother, provided that Justin Reid beats out incumbent free safety Andre Hal.
"It's cool, it's come full circle," Reid said. "Now, it's like version 2.0 of what they had at LSU."
He recorded 99 tackles last season, five interceptions and 6.5 tackles for losses and was named an All-Pac-12 selection and a second-team All-America.
Upgrading their secondary was a recurring theme for the Texans during free agency.
General manager Brian Gaine stuck with that emphasis in the third round Friday night when he drafted Reid.
Being the younger brother of a respected NFL player is just part of what the Texans liked about Reid.
"That's certainly something we were aware of, the football pedigree in the family," Gaine said. "What I'll tell you about Justin is No. 1, the prototypical body type, height, weight, speed for the position; No. 2 production, graded well in terms of production; No. 3 was the versatility, interchangeable ability to play strong safety, free safety, the ability to play the run, the ability to play the pass. We feel like he's a fully-dimensional safety at the position."
As a sophomore, Reid had 57 tackles, four for losses and seven pass breakups. He played right away as a freshman and had one interception and 23 tackles.
Reid is known for his ability to play all over the field.
"I talk about my versatility," Reid said. "I talk about my explosiveness, my ability to run whenever I need to get into my top-end speed. I would also talk about my intelligence and being able to diagnose offenses and what they're running by their scheme and personnel."
A closer look at the Texans picks:
Round 3/68 -- Justin Reid, S, 6-1, 207, Stanford
The Texans are thrilled to add a big, fast smart safety with an NFL pedigree.
Round 3/80 -- Martinas Rankin, T, 6-4, 308, Mississippi State
Extremely competitive in SEC play, did well against Myles Garrett two years ago, has recovered from high-ankle sprain, will get long look at left tackle.
Round 3/98 -- Jordan Akins, TE, 6-3, 249, Central Florida
A 26-year-old rookie, pass-catching type, converted receiver, played pro baseball for Texas Rangers.
Round 4/103 -- Keke Coutee, WR, 5-10, 193, Texas Tech
Shifty slot receiver and kick returner. Prolific for Red Raiders. Should push Braxton Miller for third receiver job.
Round 6/177 -- Duke Ejiofor, OLB, 6-3, 264, Wake Forest
Good pass rusher. Coming off torn labrum. Expected to be ready for training camp.
Round 6/211 -- Jordan Thomas, TE, 6-6, 265, Mississippi State
Gifted athlete still pretty raw, has played outside receiver. Needs to work on technique as a blocker.
Round 6/214 -- Peter Kalambayi, OLB, 6-3, 252, Stanford
Very fast with 4.5 speed. Could excel on special teams. Has some pass-rushing ability.
Round 7/222 -- Jermaine Kelly, CB, 6-1, 200, San Jose State
Washington transfer. Good on special teams. Excellent size for position, 4.4 speed.