Jalen Reagor Stealing Snaps, Eagles WR ‘Easily Adaptable’

Jalen Reagor Packers Prospect

Getty Jalen Reagor #1 of the TCU Horned Frogs pulls in a pass against Damon Arnette Jr #3 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first quarter during The AdvoCare Showdown at AT&T Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.

The original plan may have been for Jalen Reagor to lurk in the shadows at training camp and gradually learn the offense. Then, veteran receiver Marquise Goodwin opted out.

The Eagles selected Reagor in the first round (21st overall) with the intention of him mentoring under DeSean Jackson, according to Doug Pederson. That was probably a half-truth by the head coach meant to keep expectations for the rookie in check. However, Reagor now has a bigger opportunity in front of him after Goodwin left the team. There are plenty more snaps to go around, ones ideally suited for The Magician.

“That’s out of my hands, I don’t know,” Reagor told reporters on Tuesday when asked about his role. “I just look at it like things happen … people get hurt, like Marquise, with him opting out … things happen. I’m just going to take advantage of every opportunity I get.”

Reagor has been cross-training at both the X and Z receiver spots while burying himself in the playbook. He understands there will be new challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including no preseason games and a shortened timeline for live contact. The Texas native is up to the task and it all starts with putting in the work in the meeting room.

“They have just been emphasizing to me to learn X and Z and just to learn,” Reagor said. “I pride myself on being adaptable to every situation and I feel like if I know the whole playbook rather than just X or Z, then it’ll make it easier for them to move me around. They are emphasizing for me to learn everything.”

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Bonding with Wentz, Bro-ing Out with Hurts

One other big advantage for Reagor was an impromptu trip to Houston in early June where he went over routes and signals with Carson Wentz. He bonded with the franchise quarterback as best he could in a limited amount of time.

“It was great to finally meet Carson in person, rather than just texting and talking to him,” Reagor said. “We were just going over the routes, the playbook, the signals — and just trying to gel and get closer in that short amount of time and now it’s even better because we’re going to be able to be here and I can be hands-on with him … actually see him, be around him, see his habits and be a sponge to him.”

But Wentz isn’t the only quarterback on Reagor’s mind. No, he shares a special friendship with Jalen Hurts after meeting him at the NFL Scouting Combine. On Monday, the receiver shared fun pictures of them hanging out together at their team photoshoot. The two are about four locker stalls apart at the NovaCare Complex, per Reagor.

“That’s my bro. I’ve been talking to Jalen even before we got drafted,” Reagor said of Hurts. “I want to see him succeed and I feel like he’s a hard-working dude. He plays with a chip on his shoulder.”

Sage Advice From One Speedster to Another One

Another teammate who has been in the rookie’s ear has been DeSean Jackson, the speedy receiver asked to take Reagor under his wing. The 33-year-old veteran called Reagor the day after the draft and offered sage advice about adjusting to the NFL, specifically on how to approach training camp.

“He just told me to go in with a mission on my mind, with a chip on my shoulder,” Reagor said. “I could make a big contribution. That’s the reason why this organization drafted me, they believed in me. He was like, ‘Don’t wait at the back, go right in and step in now. Why wait? Go ahead and take it, full head of steam.'”

He took Jackson’s words to heart by working out with his cousin and trainer in Texas where he “stayed in good shape, playing shape.” Reagor also leaned on his dad, former Eagles defensive tackle Montae Reagor, for tips and he proved to be a “great mentor.” Finally, he developed close connections with fellow rookie receivers John Hightower and Quez Watkins as the group often Facetimes and analyzes the playbook after team meetings. All these little things have made a difference during an unpredictable offseason.

“It’s different but at the end of the day, I look at it like it’s football,” Reagor said. “So I’m taking in everything I can learn from everybody but also applying things that got me here. I’m just walking around being a sponge.”

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