Yahoo Sports' top 2020 NFL draft prospects, No. 24: TCU WR Jalen Reagor

Yahoo Sports

Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports
Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports

24. TCU WR Jalen Reagor

5-foot-11, 206 pounds 

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 6.01 — possible immediate starter

TL;DR scouting report: Held back by his college offense, Reagor projects as a dynamic, shifty playmaker if he can hone his craft more

The skinny: A 4-star Rivals recruit (and top 250 nationally), Reagor first committed to Texas Tech and then Oklahoma before settling with TCU.

As a true freshman in 2017, Reagor was named Big 12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year despite starting only two of the 14 games he played. In 2018, Reagor was named second-team All-Big 12 selection and was TCU’s MVP. He caught 72 passes for 1,061 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games that season. 

In 2019, Reagor was second-team all-conference as a receiver, catching 43 passes for 611 yards and five touchdowns and running the ball 14 times for 89 yards. As a returner his junior season, Reagor returned five kickoffs for 72 yards and 15 punts for 312 yards and two touchdowns.

Reagor, who turned 21 in January, declared early for the 2020 NFL draft. He performed all the drills and field work at the NFL scouting combine.

Upside: Home-run threat most times he touches the ball. Instant juice — 26 TDs in 39 career games. Averaged 15.2 yards per catch, 9.3 yards per rush, 17.8 yards per punt return and 24.2 yards per kickoff return. Jump from high school to college wasn’t big as he showed he belonged right away.

Reportedly has run sub-4.3 40s during testing at TCU, also recorded impressive numbers in the squat (620-pound max, nearly triple his body weight), bench press (380-pound max) and the clean (380-pound max). Lives in the weight room. Outstanding lower-body explosion was on display in combine jumping drills (both in top 3rd percentile among receivers since 1999).

Joystick moves — sudden and quick movement skill. Can break tackles or make tacklers miss. Makes 90-degree cuts — especially on drag routes and jet sweeps — and turns upfield in a moment. Can release from press coverage with foot fire off the line, subtle shoulder drops and sharp, sudden cuts. 

Can get vertical in a hurry. Watch as Reagor (lined up at the bottom of your screen) subtly builds up his speed against off coverage, and when Texas CB D’Shawn Jamison opens up too soon, Reagor turns the lights out:

Watch Reagor hit his second gear easily on the streak route.
Watch Reagor hit his second gear easily on the streak route.

Turns into a running back with the ball in his hands, moving with power and purpose. Has displayed good contested-catch ability for his size — bodies up defenders, uses his great leaping ability and snatches the ball out of the air. Strong hands — typically attacks the ball when it comes his way. Zero career dropped passes in the red zone.

Dealt with uneven to poor QB play and occasionally curious offensive design the past two seasons. According to PFF, only 30.4 percent of his targets last season were considered “on target.” (For comparison, no other top-100 prospect we studied was lower than 42 percent in that regard.) Generated 30.1 percent of TCU’s receptions in 2018 and 20.4 percent in 2019. Team completed only 58.3 percent of its passes in 2018, 53.4 percent in 2019. 

Used in backfield and as Wildcat QB, as well as on end arounds and jet sweeps. Home-run threat in the return game. Arguable that he wasn’t used creatively enough, especially with freshman QB in 2019.

Brings passion and fire to the party. Wants the ball in crucial situations. Coaches praised his work ethic even as he questioned his role. 

Downside: Production didn’t always match the skill (even for the reasons stated above). Inconsistent ball skills. Will start to turn upfield before he secures it. Hands can be shaky — in addition to seven drops on 88 targets in 2019, he also double-caught and body-caught some balls.

Length is below-average. Primarily used as outside receiver. Needs to find that sweet spot, weight-wise, where he has ideal explosion and speed. Ran disappointing combine 40 (4.47 seconds) and almost unexplainably slow times in the 3-cone (7.31 seconds) and short shuttle (4.46 seconds), both bottom 10th percentile.

Route consistency can be lacking. Will tip his hand to defenders and run off course for his quarterbacks at times. Doesn’t always maximize his gifts on downfield targets. Blocking effort is strong, but execution can be hit or miss. 

Abysmal performance vs. Baylor — one reception (for 8 yards) on eight targets, with at least two drops. Here’s one of them, a clear concentration drop after he had carved off a nice route:

This is a ball Reagor normally comes down with.
This is a ball Reagor normally comes down with.

Will occasionally try to make too much happen and simply trip over his own feet (see Oklahoma State 2018, Baylor 2019). Can also be clunky getting in and out of breaks. Shaky on punt returns — four muffs on 23 career tries. Limited kick-return experience (13 runbacks in three seasons).

Lets his frustration show at times. Might need a coach to cool him down at times and channel his energy elsewhere.

Best-suited destination: Reagor has the juice to be a WR1 for a team that can consistently get him the ball, and he should upgrade a punt-return unit immediately. Not all teams seek his body type in an outside receiver, and Reagor isn’t yet a finished product. But an accurate quarterback and creative scheme could do him wonders.

Among the teams that could be interested in his services: the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Las Vegas Raiders, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles.

Did you know: Jalen’s father, Montae, was a second-round pick as a 280-pound defensive tackle in 1999 and ended up playing for three teams over nine NFL seasons. He won Super Bowl XLI as a member of the Colts and won the Ed Block Courage Award as a member of the Eagles in 2007 after suffering major injuries — including a broken orbital bone and a gouge in his head that required 35 stitches — during a car accident as he was driving to a game the year before.

Asked how Jalen was such a different size than he was, Reagor told Yahoo Sports in January, “I don’t know. I’ve wondered that for years. And his mom isn’t short, either. But he’s got that explosive ability — really he is stronger, pound for pound, than I was.

“As soon as I saw him play in high school, I knew he was going to be an NFL player one day.”

They said it: “I thought he got too big for the combine. Bulked up a little too much. That’s why you saw the slower 40. He can roll for sure. He’s just not that finished product, and for us he’d probably be a slot. I wish [TCU] would have used him more inside. They just didn’t get him the ball enough for that explosive ability. They finally started doing some different stuff with him with the [freshman QB] back there. 

“I think he looked a little checked out late in the season, had a few bad games. You gotta live with the drops because I suspect he’ll always have a few. But he’s a little cannon, man, and we can work with that. He just needs work and a little patience.” 

— AFC national scout 

Player comp: D.J. Moore. They’re extremely similar athletes, and both suffered from poor QB play in college.

Expected draft range: Second round or late Round 1.

Previous prospect rankings: Nos. 100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-66 | 65-61 | 60-56 | 55-51 | 50. DT Justin Madubuike | 49. CB Damon Arnette | 48. OT Ezra Cleveland | 47. WR KJ Hamler | 46. CB A.J. Terrell | 45. RB Cam Akers | 44. DL Ross Blacklock | 43. OT Josh Jones | 42. DT Jordan Elliott | 41. C Cesar Ruiz | 40. S Kyle Dugger | 39. EDGE Terrell Lewis | 38. WR Laviska Shenault Jr. | 37. S Grant Delpit | 36. Jonathan Taylor | 35. WR Brandon Aiyuk | 34. EDGE Zack Baun | 33. EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos | 32. CB Jeff Gladney | 31. QB Jordan Love | 30. CB Trevon Diggs | 29. EDGE A.J. Epenesa | 28. RB JK Dobbins | 27. WR Justin Jefferson | 26. WR Tee Higgins | 25. S Xavier McKinney | 24. WR Jalen Reagor | 23. CB Kristian Fulton | 22. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire | 21. WR Denzel Mims | 20. LB Kenneth Murray | 19. RB D’Andre Swift | 18. QB Justin Herbert | 17. LB Patrick Queen | 16. WR Henry Ruggs III | 15. EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson | 14. WR Jerry Jeudy | 13. OT Mekhi Becton | 12. DT Javon Kinlaw | 11. OT Andrew Thomas | 10. OT Tristan Wirfs | 9. WR CeeDee Lamb | 8. OT Jedrick Wills Jr. | 7. CB CJ Henderson | 6. LB-S Isaiah Simmons | 5. DT Derrick Brown | 4. QB Tua Tagovailoa | 3. CB Jeffrey Okudah | 2. QB Joe Burrow | 1. Chase Young

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