Receiver Shakeup Should Expedite Jalen Reagor’s Progression
Though traditional practices are still weeks away, Tuesday signaled the start of NFL training camps.
In what has become commonplace in recent years, the opening of camps are often met with a flurry of roster moves, and Tuesday proved to be no exception for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles, who spent much of the offseason revamping a maligned receiving corps, learned that their new-look unit would have a slightly altered look for the foreseeable future.
Marquise Goodwin, acquired in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers on draft weekend, became the first member of the Eagles to exercise the opt-out clause. Goodwin joined a host of NFL players opting to sit out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
In February, Goodwin and his wife, Morgan Goodwin-Snow, welcomed their first child into the world.
The team also announced they had placed Alshon Jeffery on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list as he continues to work his way back from a Lisfranc injury sustained in Week 14's tilt with the Giants.
With the speedy Goodwin and Jeffery out of the lineup, Jalen Reagor should have a chance to earn a more prominent role.
"[Reps] are out of my hands," Reagor said. "I don't know. I just look at it as things happen. People get hurt. Like Marquise, him opting out, those things can happen. I'm just going to look at it like I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity I get."
Earlier in the offseason, Doug Pederson acknowledged that his initial plan for Reagor was to keep him at one position to start, intimating the rookie would begin learning the 'Z' position behind DeSean Jackson. While it made sense not to overburden the rookie right away, his college offensive coordinator offered some insight.
In an interview with Inside the Birds, Sonny Cumbie considered the TCU wide receiver that he presided over for three seasons to be a quick study, adding, "He'll be able to pick up what people are doing on offense pretty quickly."
It seems as though Cumbie's words are ringing true in the early goings.
"They've just been emphasizing for me to learn X and Z, and just to learn," Reagor said. "I pride myself on being adaptable to every situation. I feel like if I know the whole playbook rather than just X and Z, then it will make it easier to move me around. They're emphasizing to learn and take in everything."
While Reagor would have likely seized a starting role by the end of the summer, even with Goodwin looming, the rookie's progression must be expedited due to the sheer lack of numbers. Fortunately for the Eagles, the TCU standout is a unique player that won't need to be force-fed targets to make an impact.
Reagor's short-area quickness, explosiveness, and proficiency in space should earn him opportunities on jet sweeps. Simultaneously, his elusiveness and physicality with the ball in his hands should allow him to thrive on quick screens.
However the team draws it up, Reagor is poised for a standout rookie season.