'Why Jalen Reagor?'
Some are questioning collegiate production & see a ‘one-dimensional’ skill set. The NFL Combine to some left more questions than answers about Reagor's athleticism.
Let me be the first to tell you, Jalen Reagor is much more than your traditional field-stretcher.
1 - Short area movement skills
As dangerous as Reagor is down the field, he is equally as dangerous when touches are manufactured.
Reagor demonstrates proficiency in short areas, and is able to consistently solve problems with a unique blend of variation & raw physical ability.
The combine cannot test the type of quickness Reagor demonstrated on Saturday afternoons.
Reagor can be an immediate contributor on special teams, and has the skill set necessary to be an All-Pro caliber return man.
He can win in a ‘phone booth’ and is nearly impossible to catch once he gets loose.
Consistently being able to separate at the line of scrimmage will be crucial to Reagor's success in the NFL.
Drops his inside shoulder to create space, while steepening his shin angles to propel him quickly into acceleration.
Reagor is versatile enough to play outside or in the slot, and has the movement tools to separate against press coverage.
Once he stacks the defender it will be extremely difficult to keep pace.
2 - Elite acceleration capabilities
Reagor is not just one of the best accelerators at his position, but in all of field sport.
He gets to top-end in a blink, but also has the mechanical proficiency to prolong deceleration.
As rapid an accelerator as I’ve seen on a field.
We see his capabilities as an accelerator show up on plays that require Reagor to go from ‘lateral to linear’ after changing direction.
His 'lateral to linear' capabilities also show when getting in & out of his breaks.
Reagor is able to immediately create separation from the defender post-catch.
Reagor to be unable to fully showcase these abilities consistently due to poor quarterback play in 2019.
Only 61.4% of Reagor's targets were deemed accurate per Pro Football Focus, which was the 2nd lowest percentage in college football amongst wide receivers this past season.
3 - Play speed
This is the difference between play speed and timed speed.
Reagor reaches 22.60 MPH on this play.
This would have been the second fastest speed achieved in the NFL this past season.
People forget that the 40 yard dash is just one day in time, look at a players resume before you make assumptions as to their ability on the field of play.
Once Reagor gets into the open field, there are very few players who will be able to catch him.
Reagor comes from an impressive Track & Field background and is able to hold his speed extremely well.
4 - Ball tracking
Besides his physical traits, an aspect of Reagor’s game that will aid in him becoming an elite level ’deep threat’ is how well he adjusts to flight paths.
Reagor uses his inside arm as a barrier, then uses his free hand to pull in the ball in.
Reagor flashes skill during periods of simultaneous recognition when the ball is in flight.
He has to worry about the defender, the boundary and the end-zone.
This play was made when Reagor was an 18 year-old freshman, mind you.
5 - Winning in contested catch situations
In addition to Reagor’s game-breaking athleticism we see him play ‘above the rim’ and pull down difficult, contested looks.
While this was not a common occurrence, Reagor does possess an impressive in-air skill set.
In the red-zone, we see Reagor being able to make plays on the ball due to his explosive leaping ability.
Something that impressed me was how he continually showed great timing when high-pointing the ball in contested catch situations.
Focus on 'how' the player wins and 'who' they win against.
Jeff Okudah (#1) was the best cornerback in college football and is one of the top defensive players in this 2020 class.
Reagor & Okudah both display their caliber on this rep.
Again, we see Reagor showing good timing in situations of imminent contest.
Notice how he recognizes flight path, walls off the defender & puts his body in a position of extension that the defender cannot replicate.
He's not just a 'speed guy’
6 - Unrefined movement skills
More than once have I seen Reagor stumble getting upfield, as well as out of breaks.
This is more so an observation than a concern, but this 'may' indicate there could be a processing curve from the collegiate game to the NFL.
This is something to monitor as he makes his transition.
7 - Displaying a High Football IQ
Lots of receivers would have just let this go.
Reagor is a competitor and it's reps like these that having me moving him up draft boards.
8 - Landing spot: Philadelphia Eagles
Reagor walks into potentially the best landing spot for a Rookie wide receiver. The Eagles are in desperate need of a three level playmaker, and he gives them that, as well as a legitimate All-pro caliber punt returner. For fantasy purposes, Reagor could see a sizable target share which could span from 85-100 looks in his Rookie season. While he is still a bit raw as a prospect, the upside with Reagor is tremendous.
9 - 'Who is Jalen Reagor?'
Jalen Reagor is a true three level threat and is much better than his mediocre collegiate production indicates. At the NFL level, Reagor should see touches manufactured for him around the line of scrimmage and will be asked to play in the slot as well as at X and Z receiver. His explosive skill set may also be used on special teams as a returner.
There is no question about his talent, but due to his poor ecosystem at TCU it's hard to get a gauge on where Reagor is in his development. He does have room to grow in terms of marrying his play and processing speed, but other than that he is more skilled than meets the eye.
For fantasy purposes, Reagor could develop into a true number one option for an NFL offense. Depending on where he gets drafted, Reagor will have the opportunity to grow into that role, but as a far as fantasy production I would not expect consistency from him as a Rookie.
Playing 'too fast'