Selected 21st overall only two years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Reagor has fallen from a first-rounder with promise to a receiver on the bubble.
Leading into training camp, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman admitted he “expected more from” Reagor by this point, while head coach Nick Sirianni flatly said the wideout was “battling for a spot.”
Considering the spot he’s in now, Reagor is admittedly sheepish due to the circumstances and propelled to work hard to overcome the uncertainty.
“I love a good challenge. It’s a humbling experience, ’cause you go from a first-rounder to you’re battling,” Reagor said Wednesday, via the team website’s Dave Spadaro. “But I like challenges, though.
“We’ve got a helluva room and there is competition in there. Obviously, people have their jobs and some people don’t, some people fighting. You’ve just got to come in and when people go down, you step up and just be ready when it’s your time.”
Over the past two offseasons, the Eagles have bolstered their WR corps and Reagor finds himself seemingly on the outside looking in on the plans ahead. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported earlier this summer that the Eagles were shopping the receiver.
A year after taking Reagor in the first round, Philadelphia picked DeVonta Smith, who proceeded to reset the franchise’s rookie record for receiving yards, in the 2021 opening round. Quez Watkins, taken five rounds after Reagor in the 2020 NFL Draft, emerged in 2021, as well. And, of course, the Eagles procured another receiver during the first round of the 2022 draft when they traded for A.J. Brown. And they brought veteran Zach Pascal into the mix, as well.
Thus, a humbled Reagor is going to have to fight for a spot on the roster.
In his two seasons so far, Reagor has produced just 64 receptions, 695 yards and three touchdowns. In neither season has Reagor finished in the top three on the team in catches, yards or touchdowns.
Illuminating the spotlight is that Reagor was taken at No. 21 in 2020 and the Minnesota Vikings took Justin Jefferson at No. 22. Jefferson’s 3,016 receiving yards through two seasons are more than any other WR in their first two seasons in NFL history.
Reagor can’t concern himself with any of the numbers or subplots, though.
“I’m putting my head down and going to work, not really worrying about anything,” Reagor said. “I was just focused on myself. I’m here mentally now. It’s easy to be out here physically. That’s a little part of the game.
“Whether I do something good or bad, it’s up and down, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately on Sunday, I wear the jersey. You’ve got to go through it to get through it.”
Reagor, who like offensive tackle Andre Dillard is a former Eagles first-rounder prognosticated to be a backup, could well make his biggest impact and have his best shot at making the roster on special teams. He’s in the top spot at punt returner and kick returner on the team’s unofficial depth chart.
There is also the thinking that a new start for the Texas Christian University product could be a good thing. But Reagor isn’t looking for that.
“I just have to keep doing it, working hard,” Reagor said. “I want to be here for the rest of my career, but it’s a business. It’s a business of production.”
So far, Reagor’s failed to produce in Philly, but he’s not waiving the towel on his time with the Eagles.
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