Jalen Reagor’s off-season has been a study in contrasts.
Generally quiet during his playing career, the junior wide receiver has been vocal on social media, retweeting many mentioning his low percentage of catchable targets or letting folks know the NFL has been sleeping on him.
His performance at the NFL Combine was surprising; anyone who watched him play in college knows he can fly, but his 4.47 40 had scouts scratching their heads in Indy. That led to requests for an at-home “pro day” by several franchises, which showed Reag fly to the tune of a hand-timed 4.22. Frankly, it was more believable than his “slow” times in Indy.
An NFL team asked former TCU WR Jalen Reagor to do a pro day this week and film it. Here is the film that went out: pic.twitter.com/eTJ6sAqWLL— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 11, 2020
Based on his Combine performance, Lance Zierlein gave Reagor a grade of 6.36, which basically means that he’s expected to be an NFL starter within his first two seasons. Reagor’s explosiveness and quickness were universally praised, as is his fluidity, versatility, and able to high-point the ball. There were questions about his strength and focus, as several scouts pointed out that his frustration with uneven quarterback play seemed to effect his play. He will need to work on finishing routes and making more tough catches at the next level, but many of the issues he struggled with on the offensive side of the ball at TCU should be mitigated — especially if he goes late in the first round, where he has a great chance of landing with a playoff team and with a solid to great NFL QB.
Reagor is widely expected to go in the first 50 picks of the draft, with many expecting him to sneak into the end of the first round. ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper went so far as to label Reagor one of his biggest sleepers, saying the receiver “didn’t have great quarterback play this year, still put up good numbers. Had a drop here and there, but he’s been consistent overall and that punt return ... he took one for a touchdown, averaged 20.8 yards per return. He is a late first- early-second-round pick I believe will be a good player in the NFL.” Bryan Perez of NBC Sports added “athletically, Reagor is one of the most electric wide receiver prospects in the country. Reagor is a true offensive weapon who can put top-end defensive backs on their heels in a hurry. He’ll immediately become one of his team’s most dangerous playmakers the moment he’s drafted.” College Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit chimed in as well, saying “I think Jalen Reagor from TCU is a name that really jumps out at me.
He’s a guy that is a bit undersized but I think the system he played in didn’t necessarily allow him, especially with the quarterback play, to show what he can be. Super explosive player. Going back again to that theme about winning 1-on-1, this kid’s going to do that. He’s a 4.4 (40-yard dash) guy, 5’11, 206 (pounds), 42-inch vertical. Just an electrifying skill set.”
The biggest obstacle standing in his way is simply the depth of talent at wide receiver in the 2020 class; Reagor will be competing with Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, Baylor’s Denzel Mims and LSU’s Justin Jefferson to be one of the 32 first-round selections (though as many as seven pass-catchers could hear their name called Thursday night).
A bunch of NFL teams have been linked to Reagor in both the first and the early parts of the second round. Locally, the Cowboys have spoken with him in-depth, but they would need him to slip a bit, likely hoping to grab him in the second round with the 51st overall pick. He’s been linked to Green Bay at 30 and Kansas City is rumored to have strong interest at 32. The Colts (#34) and Eagles (#21 and #53) would be strong picks as well, if he makes it past Las Vegas, Minnesota, and New England in the bottom half of the first round.
Reagor will be a weapon in the NFL, and maybe if he gets to catch passes from Pat Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, or Carson Wentz, we will stop hearing about his “catchable targets”.
The NFL Draft begins Thursday evening with round one. Rounds two and three will take place Friday, and the final four rounds Saturday. All will take place virtually due to Coronavirus precautions.