Justin Reid earns ‘honorable mention’ in safeties rankings

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Like running back Isiah Pacheco, league insiders consider Reid worthy of “honorable mention.”

On Thursday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler continued his annual survey series with the safety position. To come up with the rankings, Fowler polls the NFL’s top executives, coaches and scouts to create positional rankings.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isaiah Pacheco was named an honorable mention in the initial column released Monday, and Chris Jones earned the top spot for defensive tackles on Tuesday.

Like Pacheco, Justin Reid did not crack the top 10 in the poll but made it into the article as an “honorable mention.”

Justin Reid, Kansas City Chiefs: In six NFL seasons, Reid has posted 480 tackles, eight interceptions and one defensive touchdown. “Total pro. Consistent producer who can create disruption as a box defender or in the alley. Competitive in coverage versus tight ends. Does the little things to improve your defense,” an NFL personnel evaluator said.’’

Reid led Kansas City with 95 tackles in 2023, and he continues to be a staple of the defense for coordinator Steve Spagnolo. In his preseason “10 biggest questions” series this week, our Nate Christensen touched upon Reid’s importance.

Justin Reid can’t do quite the same things Mathieu could. While he’s bigger (and much more physical), he lacks Mathieu’s fluidity. It took the Chiefs about half a season to figure it out, but keeping Reid in the box — where he could tackle and defend tight ends in man coverage — proved to be his best role.

So once again, the rest of the defense took shape around the veteran safety. In 2023, Spagnuolo could use cornerback L’Jarius Sneed against No. 1 wide receivers because he could trust two of his players in one-on-one coverage: Trent McDuffie in the slot and Reid against tight ends.

Considering the development of third-year safety Bryan Cook and this year’s draft selection of Jaden Hicks — who has widely been regarded as a steal and impressed in the offseason program — signs point to this being the final year for Reid in a Chiefs’ uniform.

He has been solid to this point and deserves the recognition.

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Title: Justin Reid earns ‘honorable mention’ in safeties rankings
Author: Pete Sweeney

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