TCU had two players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. It’s the first time TCU has had multiple first round picks since Davey O’Brien, Ki Aldrich, and I.B. Hale were all taken in the first eight picks of the 1939 NFL Draft.
Jalen Reagor was taken 21st overall by the Philadelphia Eagles, while Jeff Gladney was drafted 31st overall by the Minnesota Vikings. Both guys appear to be headed to great situations that should allow them to thrive early in their careers, and both meet significant needs on their respective new teams.
As Frog fans we’re obviously excited for both guys, and we’re pumped to see who else gets drafted in the final six rounds (several more Frogs should be drafted tonight in rounds two and three).
But let’s take a look at what the experts are saying about Reagor and Gladney, now that they have new homes.
Jalen Reagor | Philadelphia Eagles
Pass: This is a great pick for the Eagles’ offense. Reagor is on the smaller side, but he’s super quick and fast. He’s an excellent fit in the West Coast offense, which relies on shorter passes with longer runs.
Why they picked him: The Eagles wanted to add a speed receiver to an offense that lacked explosiveness in 2019 once DeSean Jackson was lost to injury. Reagor’s 4.47 40-yard time at the scouting combine does not reflect how quick he is on the field. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz gets a big-play threat.
Biggest question: Reagor saw a drop in production last season because of spotty quarterback play. Justin Jefferson, the NCAA’s leader in receptions last season, was there for the taking, and CeeDee Lamb fell within striking distance. The Eagles go out on a bit of a limb by selecting the less accomplished Reagor.
Grade: B. I love Reagor. He didn’t run a very good 40 at the combine. The night after that run his agent told me he put on some water weight. A couple days before they had him timed much faster. He’s got good speed.
Day 1 grade and analysis: BReagor has a chance to be a good NFL receiver. He’s competitive and explosive. The Eagles needed help at the position, so that box is checked. But his career will be compared to another receiver that some considered the lock selection in this spot: Justin Jefferson, who went one pick later to the Vikings. Will Jefferson’s size and speed make him a Davante Adams-type playmaker, making the Eagles regret this pick? Can Reagor outrun guys after the catch as he did in college? How good are his hands, really? We shall see.
Jeff Gladney | Minnesota Vikings
SB Nation: Geoff Schwartz
Pass: Ditto what I said above. [Editor’s note: He said he didn’t know much about the corners in this draft] He was graded as a first-rounder. He went in the first round. Good for me, especially because it fills a big need for the Vikings.
ESPN: Courtney Cronin
Why they picked him: Simply put, the Vikings were facing a “borderline emergency,” as ESPN front-office insider and former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum described the team’s situation at cornerback. Minnesota needed to come away with a first-round corner who has the potential to contribute immediately in 2020. The Vikings believe they have one in Gladney, whose 26 pass breakups over the past two seasons were the most in the FBS. Gladney is a tough-minded defender, and while his 5-10 frame doesn’t jump off the page, he makes up for it with “unique” physical traits. He has 31⅞-inch arm length and a near 80-inch wingspan. Vikings GM Rick Spielman said Gladney’s long arms allow him to disrupt throwing windows. That showed up in a big way during his senior season, when the Horned Frogs allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 55% of their passes, the lowest mark in the Big 12.
Biggest question: Is Gladney a Day 1 starter, and where? His experience traveling in the slot as a nickel defender might be where he fits best. The transition to playing nickel corner in the NFL is difficult, and with the prospect of a shortened offseason, it’s possible that endeavor is far more difficult for a rookie such as Gladney. He has played both spots on the outside, so that might be a better option in the near future, but Vikings coach Mike Zimmer did note Gladney has the skill set to play in the slot. That will allow Minnesota to tinker with where it lines up Mike Hughes and Holton Hill.
CBS Sports: Pete Prisco
Grade: B. It’s a need pick, no question about it. I like the player. There are some character concerns, that’s something they’ll have to address. Mike Zimmer loves to draft corners. This pick makes sense.
NFL.com: Chad Reuter
Day 1 grade and analysis: AThey acquired a first-round pick in the trade with the Bills for receiver Stefon Diggs and chose LSU’s Justin Jefferson with the selection. They could not have hoped for much more. Jefferson will be the outside threat that they needed. He can win jump balls and work over the middle. That’s a solid selection without having to move up. The team’s other big need was cornerback, and they found a feisty corner in Gladney after trading back with the Niners, picking up fourth- and fifth-round selections to drop only six slots. He’s a solid value at an important position.