Can Eagles' WRs DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor be an elite duo?

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Reagor predicts greatness for himself and Smith originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Imagine if DeVonta Smith turns out to be what the Eagles think he is? It’s exciting to think about. 

Now … just imagine if Jalen Reagor also turns out to be what the Eagles thought he was when they drafted him last year. 

It’s been so long since the Eagles had an elite 1-2 wide receiver attack. Heck, most years they haven’t even had one elite wide receiver.  

But the Eagles have spent their last two 1st-round picks on receivers, something they had never done before. And Reagor said Tuesday he expects himself and Smith to live up to expectations. To be stars. To be the kind of WR tandem Eagles fans have been waiting for since DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin were in their prime together.

“It was a great thing for this organization to do, bring another weapon on the field, another weapon in our receiver room, and we’re going to complement each other well,” Reagor said. “Like he said in (a recent) interview, there’s things that I can do that he isn’t doing and vice versa. To me, it’s going to make our room much better, make our team much better.”

A lot has to happen before Smith and Reagor become stars.

Smith is a rookie who hasn’t played an NFL game yet and is only a couple walkthroughs into his career. And Reagor is coming off a disappointing, injury-riddled season in which he finished with fewer than 400 receiving yards. 

So there’s a lot of work to do. Reagor needs to make huge strides to pay off on the Eagle taking him at No. 21 overall, and Smith still has to prove he was worthy of the 10th pick.

But it’s fun to think of what’s possible.

The Eagles haven’t had two wide receivers with 800 yards in the same season since 2014, when Maclin had 1,318 yards and Jordan Matthews had 872. 

Last time they had two 1st-round WRs catch a pass in the same season was 1990 with Kenny Jackson and Mike Quick.

So this is different. The Eagles are banking on Reagor and Smith to become the type of duo that puts tremendous pressure on opposing defenses, stretches the field on a weekly basis and gives Jalen Hurts a choice of playmakers every time he drops back to pass. 

Reagor and Smith go back to high school. Which really wasn’t all that long ago.

“I knew him in high school, just going to All-American games and stuff like that,” Reagor said. “He is who he is. End of the day he’s my teammate and we’re going to continue to grow and continue to bond together and we’re going to be a great duo. 

“I’m looking at him to have success and I’m sure he’s looking at me the same way. I’m happy to have him here.”

Reagor spoke Monday about how confident he is in himself and his ability to improve dramatically on his mundane rookie season. 

He says all the right things. So does Smith. They both come across as very serious, very dedicated, very motivated. 

The reality is the Eagles have only had two WRs with 800 or more yards in the same season eight times in franchise history.

1960: Tommy McDonald [801], Pete Retzlaff [826]

1980: Charlie Smith [825], Harold Carmichael [815]

1994: Fred Barnett [1,127], Calvin Williams [813]

1996: Irving Fryar [1,195], Chris T. Jones [859]

2010: DeSean Jackson [1,056], Jeremy Maclin [964]

2011: DeSean Jackson [961], Jeremy Maclin [859]

2013: DeSean Jackson [1,332], Riley Cooper [835]

2014: Jeremy Maclin [1,318], Jordan Matthews [872] 

Smith and Reagor are both 22 and the hope is they become something the Eagles haven’t had very often. An electrifying, young, homegrown wide receiving tandem.

They have a long way to go to join this conversation, but they’re hungry, they’re confident and they’re determined. The hopes of a franchise are riding to a great extent on these two 1st-round draft picks to become the “great duo” that Reagor predicts.

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