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NFL Draft Rumors: Eagles are “enamored with Jalen Reagor’s speed and explosive potential”

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Tonight’s first round pick?

NCAA Football: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors are coming in hot and heavy as tonight’s 2020 NFL Draft approaches. The latest buzz about the Philadelphia Eagles comes from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, who wrote the following for pick No. 21 in his final mock draft.

No. 21 - Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

This might be a surprising selection to some, but sources say the Eagles are enamored with Reagor’s speed and explosive potential as a three-level target for Carson Wentz.

Zierlein’s done a decent job with Eagles draft intel in the past. He was really the first to report that the Eagles were trying to move up for Carson Wentz back in 2016.

This also isn’t the first time we’ve heard the Eagles linked to Reagor. An “NFL Draft chatter” column from The Athletic indicated that the Eagles “have put in work on the TCU receiver.” That sentiment is reflected in BGN’s draft interest tracker. The Eagles interviewed Reagor at the 2020 NFL Combine in addition to FaceTiming with him. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark recently reported the Eagles talked to TCU’s head coach about Reagor (and cornerback Jeff Gladney, too).

Reagor’s upside is definitely intriguing. The 21-year-old profiles as the explosive threat that the Eagles could really afford to add to their receiving corps. There’s thought he’d go higher in the draft if not for being held back by horrendous quarterback play at TCU.

At the same time, Reagor is not without considerable downside. Drops have been an issue. His 4.47 40-yard dash at the Combine was slower than expected. Former NFL executives like Daniel Jeremiah and Gil Brandt don’t even have Reagor ranked in their top 50 prospects. The Eagles taking him at No. 21 could be a big reach.

His 2019 tape does raise some concerns even when taking into account the abysmal quarterback play. Reagor didn’t seem committed to selling decoy routes, blocking, or squeezing every yard out of his opportunities after the catch.

That last concern comes up in the analytics, as his YAC average dropped considerably over the last three years (7.8 > 5.9 > 3.8) and he only broke a total of 5 tackles in ‘19. You can explain some of that away by arguing poor placement, but too many times Reagor was in self-preservation mode and sought out the sidelines.

Of course, the Eagles might be in a spot where they’ll have to reach for a receiver in the first round. Zierlein’s mock, for example, has the following four wide receivers off the board before Philly’s pick:

CeeDee Lamb to the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 12

Henry Rugs III to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 13

Jerry Jeudy to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 14

Justin Jefferson to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 20

Ideally, the Eagles could trade back a little bit and still pick up Reagor later in the first round. If they really like him, though, they might not want to risk missing out.

Reagor’s the receiver I like most for the Eagles if the top four guys (yes, that includes Jefferson) are gone. We’ll soon see if he’s the pick or not.