The 5’11, uber-athletic burner Jalen Reagor has declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. How does Jalen Reagor fit with the Philadelphia Eagles? Let’s take a look.
Jalen Reagor Fun Facts
- Jalen’s father, Montae Reagor, was selected by the Denver Broncos with the No. 58 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft and won a Super Bowl with the Colts in 2006.
- No surprise, but Jalen Reagor was a track star in High School and was among the best in the nation his senior year in the long jump
A Look at Jalen’s College Performance at TCU
Jalen Reagor was a 4-star recruit and the 6th best wide receiver in the nation according to ESPN. Reagor broke out during his sophomore year and took several school records along with him. His 72 receptions for 1,061 yards were both ranked second best in school history and his nine touchdowns was 5th best in school history. 44 of Reagor’s 72 catches (61.1 percent) went for a first down or touchdown and he was named Second-Team All-Big 12 Honors.
Immense expectations followed Jalen Reagor into his junior season. However, it was a bit of a down year for Jalen Reagor as his numbers took major dips across the board. Reagor caught 43 receptions for 611 yards and five touchdowns his junior year. The truth behind the drop in stats is Jalen Reagor battled average quarterback play all year long.
Jalen Reagor also made a huge impact in the return game in 2019, finishing #2 in the country in punt return yards per return (20.8), #4 in punt return yards (312). Reagor totaled over 2,200 receiving yards and averaged 15.2 yards per catch with 22 touchdowns at TCU. Despite the dip in production his junior year, this guy proved that he is one of the best playmakers in the draft.
Current Draft Projection for Jalen Reagor
- 42nd – The Athletic
- Not Listed (first round only) – Sports Illustrated
- 43rd – CBS Sports
- Not Listed (first round only) – Sporting News
A Look at the Eagles Current Wide Receiver Position
The Eagles desperately missed DeSean Jackson’s presence this season. The offense took a major hit in 2019 without having that dominant speed receiver that can stretch the field and keeps defenses honest. The big play was absent nearly all year for the Birds, as they ranked near the bottom of the league in big plays passes over 25 yards and yards per pass attempt.
Howie Roseman stated it a few weeks ago: the Eagles need to get faster and younger. The recent release of Nigel Bradham makes you wonder where the Eagles are currently at with Alshon Jeffery. The latest chatter has Alshon Jeffery being possibly traded to the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have the cap space alongside a young quarterback that could benefit from a veteran’s presence. It’s going to be difficult, but I do believe Howie Roseman will eventually find a trade partner for Alshon Jeffery.
Off the field, many are hoping that new wide receiver coach Aaron Moorehead will be able to get more (pun intended) out of second year jump ball specialist JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Aaron Moorehead seems to be the prototypical Doug Pederson hire. Between Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, this former NFL player has been coaching wide receivers since 2013. Fingers crossed that Moorehead finds a home in Philadelphia. He is the 6th wide receivers coach for the Birds in 6 years. Absolutely pathetic.
What does Jalen Reagor bring to the Philadelphia Eagles?
Wentz’s elite arm strength and Jalen Reagor’s speed are a perfect match. The question is: would you select Reagor with the 21st overall pick? The Eagles have a lot of holes to fill this offseason. The Eagles’ defense currently has major needs at secondary, defensive tackle and linebacker. Reagor doesn’t have the sexy name of Ruggs, Lamb or Jeudy, but his skillset provides exactly what the doctor ordered for the Eagles offense.
Jalen Reagor is the perfect young receiver to be mentored by DeSean Jackson. If you want a playmaker on offense, then this is your guy. Reagor can stretch the defense and be a major weapon especially with the ball in his hands. This is a guy that would be dynamic in the Eagles screen game. Get this man the ball and watch him go. Reagor is elite in yards after the catch due to his elite speed and acceleration.
Jalen Reagor also has some of the best hands in this year’s draft. He’s got elite ability to go high for the football and make the contested catch. Despite only being 5’11, he plays much more physical than his listed size. He’s great at locating the ball in the air and will have some of the best top end speed in the entire league the second he puts on an NFL jersey. He can beat you down field, but he also has the foot quickness to get off the line and beat press coverage.
What are some areas Jalen Reagor needs to strengthen?
Route Running: Although there is definite potential here due to his elite foot quickness, Jalen Reagor did the majority of his damage in college because he was simply outran everyone. The majority of his route running were vertical routes at TCU. However, when you look at the Eagles biggest issue last season, it was the lack of straight line speed on the edge. For me, this is a non-issue in selecting Jalen Reagor in the draft and an area that can be developed over time.
My Expectations for 2020
With two 3rd round picks and three 4th round picks, Howie Roseman should have the ammo he needs to move up and down throughout the NFL Draft. However, the Eagles need a lot of work. The defensive line, and linebackers are all aged and are positions without youth. The talent at secondary needs a significant upgrade. Jalen Reagor could potentially be had in a trade back. Would you trade back and risk losing him to another team at the top of that second round?
It’s a really tricky situation. Especially when you see teams like the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints sitting right behind the Eagles in the draft. I don’t know about you, but my body is not ready for yet another Dalvin Cook situation. I wanted Dalvin Cook in that second round so badly but he was taken just before the Eagles picked in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Bottomline, I expect the Eagles to absolutely take a wide receiver with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. There is even the chance the Eagles double dip at wide receiver in the first two rounds. After that, I expect the Eagles to really focus on defense during the remainder of the draft. Bringing in youth, speed and most importantly health are incredibly vital to the success of the 2020 season.
If Henry Ruggs III and some of the top cornerbacks on the Eagles draft board are not available at 21, the idea of trading back slightly and selecting Jalen Reagor is one of my favorite scenarios in this year’s draft. Is it worth the risk though? I’d be perfectly content taking him at 21 in this year’s draft. His speed and acceleration off the line are just the perfect fit for Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles.