Doug Pederson on Jalen Reagor: ‘Obviously Number One was the Speed’
Many Eagles fans were likely surprised by the team’s decision at pick No. 21, selecting TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor. However, this was no surprise to Reagor, he had plenty of conversations with the team during the draft process.
"I talked to the whole staff – me or my agent – every other week," he told reporters late Tuesday night. "Just communicated with those guys, Coach A-Mo [Eagles WRs Coach Aaron Moorehead), Mr. Roseman [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman], [Eagles Head] Coach [Doug] Pederson, and just talking to those guys and catching up. They stay consistent. No matter what the circumstances were, they stayed consistent. I know it's a difference between doing your due diligence and showing real love and when you really want somebody. I can tell the difference for sure."
During his time at TCU, Reagor played all over the field, in the slot, outside, jet sweeps, returning kicks and punts and was named to All Big-12 teams all three of his seasons, including his freshman year when he was named the Big 12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year.
He’s an exceptional athlete, running a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. That athleticism translated onto the field, and Reagor feels he can do whatever the Eagles’ coaching staff wants.
"I feel like I'm a great vertical threat," he explained. "I can run any route in the route tree. I'm an electric player. I'll make an immediate impact when given the chance. So, I'm coming in ready to work and ready to learn. I'm a great teammate and I won't be a cancer to the locker room. Ultimately, I just show love, and I'm going to continue to elevate my game and continue to try to grow and become a better player."
Now, Reagor will be joining a wide receiver room with veterans Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson that he is excited to learn from.
“I feel like I can work on my whole game as a whole learning from the older [players], you know, the vets, [WRs] Alshon [Jeffery], DeSean [Jackson]," Reagor stated.
Head coach Doug Pederson explained what he liked about Reagor and why he fits the Eagles offense.
"Obviously number one was the speed," Pederson explained. "This guy, he can definitely stretch the field. His vertical for a 5'10”/5’11" guy, he can elevate. He can get balls above the rim, as we say.
He has the flexibility of not only playing outside, but also playing inside and his flexibility as a special teams, punt return, and possible kickoff return guy. So this guy has multiple roles coming out of college, and we're going to see where he best fits us when we -- probably training camp before we make that decision."
One name that Pederson brought up was DeSean Jackson and said there’s similarities between the two.
"Any receiver that has this type of skillset, much like DeSean, with the speed he has, earlier in his career, you find ways to put the ball in their hands, and there is obviously a way to do that," Pederson described.
You see it on film. You see the receiver screens on film. You see the vertical threat on film. The chance of putting him in the slot, putting him outside in different things, in different possibilities."
When asked about what separated Reagor from LSU's Justin Jefferson, who was also on the board when the Eagles were picking at No. 21 or possibly moving up for a player like CeeDee Lamb, who started to slip, Eagles Executive Vice President/General manager Howie Roseman said the Eagles wanted to keep a hold of their picks and simply thought Reagor was the right fit for their offense.
"We're very aggressive in working the phones and having these conversations with teams and trying to figure out where we can move and when we can move," Roseman admitted when speaking on the possibility of moving up for Lamb. "It just has to work for both sides obviously, but we are also very comfortable sitting here and taking a player that has a great skillset for what we're looking for.
"Like Coach [Pederson] just said, we knew there were a lot of talented receivers in this offense and there is a lot of different flavors, and this was the one we felt could really help our football team in multiple ways."
Pederson described him as an exciting fit for the Eagles, especially with Jackson returning, and talked about what skills stood out during this process.
"We are very excited about this player, and obviously having DeSean and getting him back and keeping him healthy throughout the whole year and having a player of his caliber, along with Jalen on the field, I think it's exciting.
"His 40-plus vertical inch, that transferred to the field. And you can see his speed. You can see it on tape running by people, down field, going up and making adjustment catches. Then on the return, as a punt returner you can see it, too. So a lot of talented players, believe me. This is what really stood out about Jalen was that vertical threat, his ability to go up and [get the ball] and make big plays."
And though the last time the Eagles really spoke to Reagor was at the combine, it was clearly enough for Philadelphia to feel comfortable taking him 21st overall.
"I think with Jalen, we had a formal interview with him at the combine and got to know him there," Roseman explained. "After that, we did video chats with him and spent time with him on FaceTime and whatnot."
He's a guy we have a previous history with. Obviously, his father played here with the Eagles, and so it was a comfort level for us as a person."
And with the NFC East getting better, adding the speed that Reagor brings to the table is vital.
"I think that you see the separation on tape," said Roseman. "You see the vertical separation as an outside receiver, and those things are hard to find. When you look at kind of this Draft about guys who can just separate as an outside vertical receiver, there are not a lot of those guys. Those guys are hard to find and they're hard to find in this league. You see it, that it really fits our quarterback skillset. Our quarterback likes to throw the ball down the field and make vertical throws."
The rest of the draft continues Friday at 7 p.m. Philadelphia has seven picks remaining, including pick No. 53 in the second-round.
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