Minnesota Vikings special teams coordinator Matt Daniels is a Jalen Reagor guy — endearingly.
To start September, the Vikings orchestrated a deal with the Philadephia Eagles, sending a conditional 4th-Round draft pick and a 7th-Rounder to Nick Sirianni’s team for the former 1st-Round pick.
The Eagles drafted Reagor in the 1st Round of the 2020 NFL Draft — the pick before Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson. The two men, Reagor and Jefferson, now play for the same team.
And on Thursday, Daniels affirmed his gridiron ardor for Reagor, detailing an intimate profile of the characteristics he admires about the 23-year-old. Daniels told reporters, “I was salivating over this guy when he was coming out of college back in 2020.”
But that wasn’t all. Daniels rattled out a scrumptious physical assessment of Reagor, “He’s a very stout, cocky-built guy. He’s not really narrow. He’s got thick, strong legs, big glutes, really nice calves, you know. Again, I salivated over the guy.”
Reagor is expected to field Vikings punt returns in 2022, listed as the franchise’s starting return man on the initial depth chart. Wide receivers K.J. Osborn and Jalen Nailor are documented as backups if something happens to Reagor.
The Vikings will also showcase Reagor as a WR4 after parting ways with Ihmir Smith-Marsette last week and losing Bisi Johnson to a season-ending injury in the final preseason game. Smith-Marsette landed with the Chicago Bears one day after departing the Vikings, and the future is unclear for Johnson, who is in the final year of his contract.
Reagor and his big glutes hope to reclaim a once-promising career in Minnesota. In college at Texas Christian, he was a weaponized deep threat with jaw-dropping speed. But with the Eagles, Reagor was only targeted 111 times in two years — a shrimpy figure for a 1st-Round pick, especially in today’s NFL.
The former Eagle has notched 64 catches for 695 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in 28 career games. He’s also fumbled once every seven games while returning one punt for a touchdown — against the Green Bay Packers in 2020.
Daniels is a former player, spending time with Los Angeles Rams (then St. Louis), Jacksonville Jaguars, and Los Angeles Chargers (then San Diego) from 2012 to 2015. He’s younger than Kirk Cousins and Harrison Smith.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).