Last year, the Eagles’ wide receiver corps was horrendous. They were plagued with injuries and actually ran out of wide receivers at one point and were playing three tight end sets. The Eagles were in desperate need of a new receiver which was seen in the draft. With the Eagles’ first-round pick, they selected Jalen Reagor out of TCU. There is a lot to be said about this kid. He showed in the combine just how fast and explosive he can be. At TCU he was the deep threat on the outside which the Eagles’ have shown they like to do with DeSean Jackson. At only 5’11”, we still have to wonder how well his skill will translate into the NFL which is full of bigger defenders who have the potential to outmuscle him for jump balls. His time at TCU does not show much of his ability to run many routes as he was just a deep threat almost the whole time. Will we see his explosiveness play a major factor in getting open for the Eagles?
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You cannot really sugarcoat his 2019 stats. They just do not look very impressive. 611 yards and 5 touchdowns do not lead to the result of a first-round draft pick. So why did he go in the first round? We can look back a year to maybe see why. In his sophomore year, he had 1,061 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. This is more of what you would expect to see in a first-round caliber receiver. So why did his 2019 stats drop off so much? The seemingly biggest cause is how poorly the TCU quarterback played. It is hard for a receiver to perform if he is not getting the ball thrown well to him which contributed to his fall off. This is sometimes why stats do not tell the whole story. Nevertheless, the Eagles saw through the drop-off and believe that he will be a big part of their offense in 2020.
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I mentioned earlier that Reagor’s explosiveness and speed stand out. They already have Alshon Jeffrey as their monster receiver and DeSean Jackson as their deep threat. So where does Reagor fall in? Eagles’ head coach, Doug Pederson, gave his thoughts of his role moving in. He went on about how Jackson and Jeffrey are still both recovering from their previous injuries but he is hopeful for their full recovery by the season. He confirmed that they will stay in their roles and that Reagor will take more of a backseat in year one. He claimed that Reagor would learn the position from Jackson throughout the season. Reagor will still have his impact and will not be completely disregarded, but it appears that he will not have the explosive year that many people were hopeful for. If he were to play, it would most likely be in the slot or if one of the two were to get hurt again. In dynasty leagues, I would be all over Reagor as he is being taught by one of the best current deep-ball receivers in the league and will quickly be implemented into a struggling receiver corps that need talent like him.
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Reagor is one of the late-round fliers that probably will not have a significant impact on your team, but his upside is so great that he is worth grabbing and holding on to. While he is not expected to have a crazy 2020, he still holds the opportunity to make a huge impact if given the chance. The Eagles have been short on receivers which is why they drafted him in the first place. If Jackson were to reinjury himself, the door is wide open for Reagor to break out. He has the raw talent and ability to get into the open zones with his speed and agility. He has never seen a quarterback with Carson Wentz’s talent, so we will see how he is able to connect with him.
It is safe to assume that Reagor will not be sat out all year and get some action. He is listed as WR3 on the Eagles’ depth chart, so he should be out there for all the three-receiver formations in the slot. The Eagles do have two terrific tight ends though, so they will probably run many two-receiver and two-tight end formations. Another major factor going into his floor is the injuries to the receivers above him. Jackson and Jeffrey are still rehabbing from their past injuries which could limit their time on the field, opening up an opportunity for Reagor. I put a safe number at 40 receptions and around 500 yards. He will be limited by Jackson and Jeffrey if they remain healthy but will get his fair share of opportunities since he is learning.
Jalen Reagor continues to be the most underrated WR in the 2020 Draft. https://t.co/HUgUJfZiOC
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) April 18, 2020
The injuries to Jackson and Jeffrey play an even bigger role in determining Reagor’s ceiling. If one of the two were to have to sit out for some time, Reagor is the next receiver up, especially if Jackson were to go down. You can expect all the targets that Jackson would get, would go to Reagor instead. If Jeffrey were to go down, Reagor might not get as many targets that would have gone to Jeffrey, but you can imagine that his value would dramatically rise. What prevents his ceiling from being too high is that he will have one role on the team and that is the deep ball. He is currently being developed by Jackson into basically replacing what he has done for the Eagles. While it is exciting to be all over rookies, we still have to reasonable with how much impact rookie receivers have in their first year. The Eagles have never had a rookie get over 1,000 yards, but if things go right, Reagor could potentially be the guy. You really have to bank on an injury to one of the top players for Reagor to have any major impact this year, but it is not out of the question which makes his upside worth a pick.
Philadelphia Eagles Offense
I mentioned earlier about the Eagles’ receiver situation and how they were in need of a receiver like Reagor, but I only briefly mentioned how the Eagles’ offense will impact Reagor. The impact of a veteran quarterback like Wentz is very valuable in the development of a young receiver like Reagor. He has not run many other routes other than go routes on the outside. Having a quarterback like Wentz who will hit you in the hands with almost every pass he throws will allow Reagor to develop faster than maybe some of his other draft class receivers. The other impact is with Miles Sanders. The Eagles and the rest of the fantasy football community are very high on Sanders this year. He showed a glimpse of his capabilities as a rookie last year, but now in his sophomore year, he is the clear-cut starter without much competition since Jordan Howard left. Sanders has a large role in the passing game out of the backfield and will take many targets away from the receivers. While there will still be a ton of room for all three receivers to bust out, Reagor is slotted as third in the receiver positions, but as I said, it only takes one of them to go down for Reagor to fill in a major position in the Eagles’ offense.
You should have already been really high on Jalen Reagor.
Rookie WR1 and the only rookie WR with a legitimate chance of being a every week starter in fantasy for 2020.
— DynoMC (@DynoMC) July 7, 2020
Strength of Schedule
When using 2019 win percentages to determine the strength of schedule, the Eagles have it the 8th easiest this year. The Giants and the Cowboys being their divisional rivals gives them a challenge defensively but not really offensively. They do face the 49ers who held the best pass defense in the league. In terms of opposing defense strength against wide receivers like Reagor, the Eagles rank 22nd, meaning they have it pretty easy with 32 total teams. With talent like Jeffrey and Jackson coming back, the Eagles will have a great offense going into the season. Having Reagor on your fantasy bench will look very good if the Eagles start scoring a lot.
Reagor has the best receiver to teach him how to become the best at his position in Jackson who has shown time and time again how explosive he is downfield. The early part of the season will be a developmental phase for Reagor as he transitions into the NFL. As he becomes more accustomed to the pace, the Eagles will likely begin to use him more. So while Reagor will likely have very low numbers to begin the season, his upside is enormous. He is coming in as the Eagles #3 receiver and will likely not go down the depth chart. Reagor will eventually become one of the top pickups between weeks so having him early will pay dividends. Do not be afraid to stash him away on the bench at the end of the draft and wait for him to develop because he will get the targets after a while.