A new wide receiver has landed, and he may be the secret weapon Philly has been searching for.
From Texas Christian University, Jalen Reagor is their highest-drafted wide receiver since 2016. High expectations are now in order to see if Reagor will bring his collegiate play-making adaptability and speed to the Philadelphia Eagles.
A Season Premiere
Jalen’s debut was made in 2017 with two receptions in his team’s home opener. After catching a Hail Mary pass, he scored his first touchdown in Week 3, and in all of the last four games his freshman season.
His 8 total receiving touchdowns were the most by a true freshman in the nation.
Reagor played in the Big 12 Championship Game and the Alamo Bowl. He was later named Co-Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
His sophomore year threw new challenges at his gameplay as the team introduced three different quarterbacks to the starting line. Nevertheless, he managed to earn his first 100-yard rushing game and top 1,000 total receiving yards for the 2018 season.
Setting a TCU record, he scored touchdowns in 7 straight games, and 61% of his catches went for a first down or a touchdown. He was named second-team All-Big 12.
During Reagor’s third year, he finished with 43 receptions and 611 yards. He concluded the season with his fourth career 100-yard receiving game.
With a 17.8-yard punt return average, another TCU record was set. On a national level, he was ranked second with a 20.8 punt return average, breaking a record previously set in 1969.
Reagor was named second-team All-Big 12 once again and was awarded second-team All-American three times.
Forgoing his final year, he declared for the NFL draft a year early. He was a first-round 2020 NFL draft pick for the Philadelphia Eagles.
He stated, “The Eagles showed the most interest out of any team. It was a few teams that were up there but…there’s a difference. I can tell when you’re doing your due diligence and when you’re showing you’re actually interested in me. The Eagles did that, and, man, they made my dream come true today.”
Flying with The Birds
With the start of what’s to be a very unique season, Reagor will not have a preseason to fall back on and needs to come out of the gate strong. He has made it clear on social media that he’s ready to go, and he’s not alone.
DraftKings placed his over/under number on receiving yards at 650.5. In retrospect, only seven Eagles players have had 651 receiving yards their rookie season, placing excessive pressure on the new recruit.
On a recent conference call, Doug Pederson stated, “Obviously the playbook is extensive, and we just have to see what he’s [Reagor] taken from the offseason to training camp, and then once we see his potential and his growth, then we can use him in multiple spots.”
To start, Reagor will shadow DeSean Jackson, one of the best deep-ball receivers with 24 career touchdowns of 60 or more yards — the most in NFL history. However, with Jackson and fellow wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery, coming out of the 2019 season injured, Reagor is a clear younger, healthier option.
Although Jackson and Jeffery are set to start, uncertainty lingers with Alshon’s recovery. This may ultimately lead to an early start for Reagor. He not only has the skills to be successful but, if given the opportunity, could form a perfect pairing with Carson Wentz.
A Dangerous Duo
Wentz and Reagor both met on the field for the first time last week, and fortunately, for the two, they are both familiar with the unfamiliar.
With 13 players on the injured reserve list in 2019, Wentz was still able to pull off over 4,000 passing yards.
Similarly, Reagor’s malleability in 2018 proved that he can catch footballs with just about anyone.
When it comes to speed, Reagor is also a comparable matchup to his fellow wide receivers, making him a tough cover down the field. In his draft class, his timed speed clocked 20.8mph. A max speed of 22.6mph was achieved in his final season at TCU.
Pair catching with Reagor’s hustle, and the Wentz-Reagor duo should be able to make huge plays.
In a recent interview, Reagor stated, “I don’t look at is as something that’s difficult, I look at is as a challenge.”
And a challenge it will be for sure, but one Philly is confident in.