Philadelphia Eagles 2020 training camp preview: WR Jalen Reagor

2020 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
2020 NFL Draft, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles are expecting an upgrade at receiver with Mr. Reagor.

You’ve seen the stat several times, and it still bears repeating. Last year, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw for over 4,000 passing yards in spite of having a less-than-stellar wide receiver grouping. For that reason, it wasn’t surprising to see the “Birds” select Jalen Reagor in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The former TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver joins a group that failed to have sustained success in the 2019 season. The Eagles’ leading receiving was tight end Zach Ertz. The veteran caught 88 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns. Tight end Dallas Goedert was second on the team with 58 catches for 608 yards and five touchdowns.

Rookie running back Miles Sanders posted the third-highest receiving yards total with 50 receptions for 509 yards, and Alshon Jeffery was fourth. It’s safe to say that having your best receiver fail to crack the 500-yard mark was the catalyst for the team’s brass prioritizing the position during the most recent NFL Draft.

Can Jalen Reagor alleviate some of the injury concerns the Philadelphia Eagles have had over the past two seasons?

Reagor will get plenty of opportunities to prove his worth, but perhaps, being able to stay healthy will be the one aspect of his game the “Birds” will be able to hang their hat on. In 2019, it felt like there was a new starter in the lineup every week. Jeffery and Nelson Agholor both started ten games, but no other Eagles wide receiver suited up for more than five. Ineffectiveness and injuries were the major reasons that Philly couldn’t seem to find a receiver they could trust last season.

The Eagles had their choice of wide receivers in the draft, but Reagor’s vertical speed and versatility (he can also be a factor as a returner on special teams) swayed their pendulum in his direction. The TCU product operates better in space, but he can also bring an element of explosiveness to the “Birds” offense. Philly’s coaching staff should get creative and look for ways to feed him the ball. Ertz and Goedert should open the field and take some pressure away from the rookie wide receiver.

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Working against Jalen Reagor becoming a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles

There’s one thing about Reagor that will make Philadelphia fans grind their teeth, and it’s this. He’s had problems with catching the ball, an issue that the Eagles were all too familiar with last season. In total, the team dropped ad 29 passes in 2019. They just couldn’t haul the ball in during key situations. Reagor will need to remedy his issues quickly. He needs to show he can catch routine passes on a consistent basis if he wants to see meaningful playing time. Otherwise, he runs the risk of spending some time on the bench.

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Reagor can’t just assume he’ll be starting, or he won’t be. Jeffery and Desean Jackson have spent plenty of time in the trainer’s rooms, they’re proven commodities when healthy. Former second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside and newcomer Marquise Goodwin will also be in the mix and vying for playing time, so Reagor shouldn’t get overconfident. As long as Reagor does what he’s asked, shows some of his playmaking prowess, and manages to stay healthy, he can give the Eagles a wide receiver they can count on in 2020.