Not many NFL teams hurt more at the wide receiver position this past season than the Philadelphia Eagles.
Early-season injuries to Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson depleted Philadelphia’s receiving core, leaving quarterback Carson Wentz and head coach Doug Pederson to rely on unproven pass catchers like JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins and Greg Ward Jr. Former first-rounder Nelson Agholor continued to struggle with his consistency before suffering a late-season injury, and when the season concluded, tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert were the Eagles’ only reliable pass catching options.
Jeffery (30 years old) and Jackson (33 years old) will be back for the 2020-21 season, but the Eagles lost Agholor (Las Vegas Raiders) and Hollins (Miami Dolphins) to free agency. Several reports indicated Philadelphia would pursue a receiver early in the draft, and that’s exactly what general manager Howie Roseman did, taking TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor with the 21st overall pick.
Reagor had been linked to the Eagles before the draft, but many Philly fans and league executives were stunned the team didn’t take LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who totaled over 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns catching passes from No. 1 pick Joe Burrow this past season. Jefferson went one pick after Reagor, going 22nd overall to the Minnesota Vikings, but the Eagles should be thrilled to add a playmaker like Reagor.
While his stats may not jump out as much as other wide receivers like Jefferson, Reagor’s durability and versatility with the Horned Frogs immediately stands out. A three-year starter and two-time Second-Team All-Big 12 honoree, Reagor played in all 39 games for TCU, which should be welcoming news for an Eagles team that had several injuries to its receiving core.
Reagor will immediately give the Eagles a special teams threat as well, particularly in punt returns, where Philadelphia averaged less than 6 yards per return and ranked 25th in the NFL this past season. Reagor housed two punt returns during his junior season including this 73-yarder and this 70-yarder, where the 6-foot, 195-pounder showcased both his speed and his elusiveness.
Despite catching passes from multiple quarterbacks during his sophomore season, Reagor surpassed 1,000 yards while hauling in nine touchdown receptions. His versatility was on display in the running game as well, recording two touchdowns on the ground including an 83-yard burst during TCU’s victory over Oklahoma State in 2018. Reagor finished his career with 325 rushing yards on 35 carries, an average of over 9 yards per tote.
Reagor’s numbers were heavily impacted by inconsistent play from TCU quarterbacks, particuarly during his junior season, where the Horned Frogs rotated between true freshman Max Duggan, graduate transfer Alex Delton and former Penn transfer Michael Collins. Among the 2020 NFL Draft’s top wide receiving prospects, Reagor saw the lowest percentage of accurate passes at a measly 31 percent. Guess who leads the way though? LSU’s Justin Jefferson. Playing with a Heisman Trophy winner will certainly do that.
Percentage of accurate passes thrown their way.— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) April 24, 2020
Put Jalen Reagor on LSU, he’s the one with 100 catches. Put Justin Jefferson on TCU, we’re not talking about him. pic.twitter.com/CywcW3Fsjy
Reagor shined during the physical test at the NFL Draft Combine, and although his 40-yard dash time was underwhelming for some scouts, Reagor made headlines when his virtual pre-draft workout video featured him running a hand-timed 40 between 4.22 and 4.28 seconds. At the combine, Reagor compared himself to multiple NFL receivers including Kansas City Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill, and according to the Los Angeles Times, Reagor watches Hill’s film every day. Reagor notably dropped 11 pounds between his combine workout and his virtual workout, cutting from 206 pounds.
Tyreek Hill’s Highest Reached Game Speed: 22.64 mph— Eagles Nation (@PHLEaglesNation) April 24, 2020
Jalen Reagor’s Highest Reached Game Speed: 22.60 mph
Reagor started at the Z-receiver position for the Horned Frogs, lining up on the outside for the majority of his snaps, but he showed the ability to play out of the slot as well. Reagor will immediately become a top-3 receiving threat for the Eagles, and with Jackson nearing the end of his career, Reagor will give Philadelphia another downfield speed threat who can make plays on special teams and out of the backfield. Philadelphia needed to get younger and more athletic at the wide receiver position, and that’s exactly what the Eagles did.