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Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson explain why the Eagles drafted Jalen Reagor

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They see the rookie contributing on special teams in addition to offense.

The Eagles don’t move from the No. 21 spot in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and they ended up getting a legacy in Jalen Reagor. The wide receiver out of TCU was chosen directly ahead of Justin Jefferson — whom many thought the team was targeting.

Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, and Andy Weidl spoke to the media at the end of Round 1 to explain their pick, their commitment to adding talent around Carson Wentz, and why they didn’t make a trade.

Here’s what they had to say:

On why Jalen Reagor

Roseman noted that they had an opportunity to sit back and get a guy that “fit us” and “Jalen fits something we were really looking for”. He further pointed out Reagor’s ability to be explosive with the ball in his hand, and ability to help on special teams as a returner.

Roseman and Pederson both emphasized that they were looking for the right fit for their football team when pressed about taking Reagor over Justin Jefferson. The Eagles’ head coach lauded Reagor’s speed, ability to stretch the field, and his vertical for a guy under 6 feet allows him to get balls “above the rim”, Pederson continued that the WR can play outisde and inside and return punts and possibly kicks, as well.

Pederson, however, didn’t commit to how much they’ll expect Reagor to contribute right away, but said they’re excited to get him in the fold and get him going when they can this spring.

“Any receiver that has this kind of skill set, much like DeSean [Jackson], with the speed he has — you find ways to put the ball in their hands,” Pederson explained.

Roseman then spoke about how they were also looking for complimenting skill sets with the other wide receivers they already have on roster. Plus, he noted that Carson Wentz likes to throw the deep pass and likes having a vertical threat, and explained that they use RIFD data to evaluate how Reagor runs in-game, and it’s fast. They could see the explosiveness on tape, and then he showed it again in his testing.

On getting to know Reagor

“I think with Jalen, we had a formal interview with him at the Combine,” Andy Weidl noted, and added that he had many conversations after that with people throughout the organization. Plus, there was a comfort level with his Dad having played in Philly.

On trading up or down

“We’re very aggressive in working the phones and having these conversations with teams,” Roseman explained. But, he said it has to work for both sides, and they were comfortable sitting back and taking a player with the skill set they were looking for at No. 21. They looked at options to move up but it was important they kept their high picks

Roseman was later asked if they were considering moving back, but he said that from what he heard, Reagor was going to go soon and they didn’t want to miss on their guy. He explained that it was hard to find outside speed in this draft and they didn’t want to wait to get him.