Jalen Reagor’s availability could be a gamechanger for the Eagles

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – SEPTEMBER 14: TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Jalen Reagor (1) lines up before the snap during the college football game between the Purdue Boilermakers and TCU Horned Frogs on September 14, 2019, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

Earlier today, our writer Chris Infante reported that Jalen Reagor is one practice away from a green light to play in week one. The Eagles dropped their injury report on Friday, denoting that he was a full participant.

Reagor has been battling a shoulder injury picked up in a scrimmage towards the end of August.

Doug Pederson was asked about the team’s first-round pick before practice and had this to say:

Jalen is doing really well. We’ve kind of taken it day-by-day with him and increased him this week and we want to see where he’s at. You guys know we’re not going to put anybody out there that’s not 100 percent or better and he’s feeling good. So we’ll get through these next couple of days, but expect some good things. He’s felt good, so we’ll see where he’s at here in the next 48 hours.

What Reagor’s return means for the Eagles

This is huge for a matchup that could get feisty. The Redskins secondary is a little wobbly right now after being thrown together this offseason. Kendall Fuller signed a four-year, $40M dollar deal in March, while Ronald Darby joined shortly after. With both corners having speed at their disposal, the Eagles’ having more fire to fight fire with is always good news.

The WR vs CB matchup will come down to deployment. The Eagles need to be very aware of a ruthless front four and may well look to exploit YAC potential on screens and quick passes in order to stop players like Chase Young getting home. This plays perfectly into his skillset, as our man Morgan Burkett mentioned this offseason.

Taking screens and short passes it was commonplace to see him simply run past his opponents. There are times when he’s not the faster player, it’s just that Reagor can get up to speed faster. He knows it too. That confidence allows him to use false steps, hesitation, and head fakes to open up space. That variance in approach makes him a very difficult tackle in one-on-one situations. While sheer speed doesn’t always translate to NFL success, that quickness and burst are more transferable. With the ball in his hands, Reagor has no trouble eating up space and consistently finding yardage using his gifts.

Jalen Reagor ran a 4.47, but he also ran an unofficial 4.22 and 4.28 at his virtual pro day and also reached the fastest clocked time in-game in all of college football last season at 22.6 mph.

If the Eagles want to really punish a cornerback in Ronald Darby who struggles to take (any) tackling angles in the open-field, then someone with Reagor’s 99th percentile burst grading would be the dream option to do exactly that.

Reagor making a dent on Special teams

Named to three All-America teams in 2019, Reagor received second-team honors as an all-purpose wide receiver and as a Punt returner. In fact, he was one of only two players in the FBS with a pair of punt return touchdowns in 2019.

Talking of punt returns, he also ranked second in the nation with a 20.8 average return distance, breaking a TCU record. That wasn’t the only record he set. His career return-average of 17.8 actually broke the school’s last record which was set all the way back in 1932.

There’s a good chance we see Jalen Reagor active on Fipp’s special teams unit if he’s able to go on sunday.

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire