In 2020, the Minnesota Vikings held the 22nd overall pick in the National Football League draft. Looking for a wide receiver, they selected Justin Jefferson out of LSU.
He was definitely someone they keyed in on, but he was only available because the Philadelphia Eagles took TCU’s Jalen Reagor a pick earlier. Now the latter will learn from the former.
In his two years with the Eagles, Jalen Reagor has tallied just 695 receiving yards and has three touchdowns. That is something like a bad-half season for Justin Jefferson. It’s been that production, or lack thereof, that has made Reagor the subject of memes, jokes, and plenty of less-than-ideal discussions.
Being dealt to the Vikings, Minnesota obviously thinks they can make adjustments to turn Reagor into a usable asset in this league. Keenan McCardell has been lauded as among the best wide receivers coaches across the sport. His latest highlight was the work done on K.J. Osborn last season. Adam Thielen and Jefferson are both also well decorated and should have plenty of insight to share with their new teammate.
Coming in, there should be an immediate expectation that Reagor takes over punt return duties. While Kene Nwangwu is expected to handle kick returns, Kevin O’Connell didn’t find an ideal candidate to return punts. Also, the loss of Bisi Johnson for a second straight season takes a veteran option from the Minnesota stable of wide receivers. How much run Reagor gets on offense will almost certainly be dependent upon the strides he takes in regards to improvement on that side of the ball.
By trading for Reagor, the Vikings get the option to hang onto him for up to three more seasons. They’ll need to decide on his 5th-year option next offseason, but it’s what they’ll see over the next 18 weeks that can define the decision to make this move.
It’s been a tough start to a career for Reagor, but at 23 years old, he still has youth on his side. The hope would be that the 21st overall pick can learn a thing or two from the 22nd overall selection. Maybe it’s at this juncture that Reagor goes from being mocked to figuring out a way to carve out an opportunity for longevity.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.