INDIANAPOLIS — The 2020 NFL Draft is lauded for the talent available at wide receiver. More than any other position, the valuation of receivers is wide-ranging considering the contrasting physical skill sets that exist within the position group and the varying styles of play.
While some receivers are big and physical targets that serve more as power-forwards in the passing game, others are smaller and more elusive weapons that create space for themself to make plays.
Teams will value certain skill sets on a case-by-case basis, often being mindful of what is needed to complete its own arsenal of weapons. But no matter what, players that can do it all are the ones teams truly covet. TCU’s Jalen Reagor doesn’t think there is anything he’s not capable of on the football field.
“My versatility,” Reagor said and then explained, “I play running back, a little bit of quarterback and I’m also a return specialist. I can do it all. I can run any [route] … whatever I need to run I can run. Whatever a team needs me to do, I’ll be able to do it.”
Many of the narratives surrounding Reagor is that he is a fast guy, but an overall incomplete wide receiver prospect. Reagor expects to time in the high 4.2- or low 4.3-second mark when he runs his much-anticipated 40-yard dash Thursday. In fact, he stated that his plan was to run faster than Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, who is expected to challenge for the all-time combine record set by John Ross (4.22 seconds).
Outside of Reagor’s belief that he is limitless on the football field, what makes him unique for a playmaker with his caliber of speed is that the density of his frame is not consistent with that of his contemporaries. Reagor measured at a dense 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine and his target playing weight is 205. Reagor believes that is a steady weight he can still be explosive at but does feel that his thicker proportions give him an advantage over other speedy receivers.
“I feel like most fast guys are really thin,” he said. “They have a lot of injuries and that’s not me. I’m a healthy and reliable guy. I have a good frame so I can take a lot of what comes with the game.”
While there is so much intrigue when it comes to Reagor at the next level, he isn’t coming off his best season. A year after logging 72 receptions for 1,061 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore, Reagor caught only 43 passes for 611 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.
Erratic and inconsistent quarterback play certainly played into the dip in production for Reagor, in addition to how he was used. Despite his explosive skill set, Reagor was given limited chances to create in space and when he did, the results were underwhelming.
With less on his plate and fewer opportunities to make plays that took advantage of his skill set in 2019, Reagor took last season as a chance to showcase more of what he can offer an NFL franchise.
“[Last year] was surprising, but it was an opportunity for me to show my true character,” he said. “To show that I can lead without the ball.”
TCU battled injuries and subpar play under center in 2019, which presented challenges for Reagor to produce to his own expectations.
“We didn’t have rhythm,” he said. “I was going to practice and have a different quarterback. Being a receiver and a quarterback, you have to rhythm. It was hard to get on track sometimes.”
Reagor has already had at least 15 meetings at the combine where he was asked about the 2019 season and why he almost exclusively lined up on the right side of the offensive formation. Reagor played in the role that the offense needed him to fill, even if it was to the detriment of showcasing his true ability as a playmaker. According to Reagor, every team that he’s met with asked why he was used in such limited capacity. Reagor clarified that he knew the entire playbook and could fill any role for the offense.
While his final campaign at TCU didn’t produce the individual or team results Reagor hoped for, his confidence hasn't wavered and he believes that he’s ready to be a difference-maker right away in the NFL.
“I’m a big play waiting to happen and I’m very versatile,” he said. “I can make something happen in situations you might not think I can. I am going to make an immediate impact wherever I go.”