No team in the NFL needed more help at the wide receiver position than the Eagles did entering this year’s draft. They finished the weekend with four new wideouts for Carson Wentz to play with, with the most notable being first round selection Jalen Reagor out of TCU.
While the pick has received some scrutiny from fans and local pundits, Reagor undeniably fills a need for this team. His speed is his selling point and it’s pretty clear that’s why Howie decided to go with him over LSU’s Justin Jefferson, who went just one pick later to the Minnesota Vikings.
When it comes to projecting what kind of output we’ll see out of Reagor in his rookie season, it’s hard to envision him leading the team in receiving. Zach Ertz will probably be the leading pass catcher in 2020, just like he has been for the past three seasons. But, Reagor leading all wideouts in production is certainly a possibility.
Receiver is usually considered as one of the hardest positions to transition to at the NFL level, but we’ve seen our fair share of rookie wideouts ball out in recent years. Just last year, five rookie receivers went for over 700 yards receiving: A.J. Brown, DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, Deebo Samuel and Darius Slayton. Not even one Eagles wideout eclipsed 500 yards last season.
Injuries absolutely decimated the wide receiving group and the team had a hard time scrambling for replacements. The great thing about Reagor is that he can contribute from any receiver spot on the field. He was mainly used on the outside at TCU, but he also saw some time in the slot and his skill set lends itself to being an effective slot receiver.
Although it seems unlikely that the receiving corps will suffer the abnormal amount of injuries they faced last season, Alshon Jeffery will likely start the regular season on the PUP list, meaning he’ll miss the first six games. And while DeSean Jackson will enter the year fully healthy, he hasn’t played an entire 16 game season since 2013.
Reagor will be called upon to produce early and often for this Eagles offense, even if DeSean and Alshon miraculously stay healthy for the majority of the year.
He’ll get a mix of crossers from the slot, as well as some deep shots on the outside. Don’t be surprised if Reagor gets some carries as well, he was utilized as a swiss army knife type of weapon in TCU’s offense. Looking at the rest of the wideouts on the roster, Reagor may very well be the most well rounded of the group.
In ideal circumstances, Reagor wouldn’t be relied on to be ‘the guy’ in year one. But unfortunately, the Eagles wide receiver situation is far from ideal. I’m not saying he’s the best wideout in this draft, but given how bleak the Eagles receiving group is, I think Reagor will be right there with the rest of the rookie wideouts in receiving production.
Eagles fans should be excited to see what this kid can do in year one. Just keep your fingers crossed we didn’t miss on a rookie receiver for the second year in a row.