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Eagles stay put and add an explosive playmaker to the offense in Jalen Reagor

What the Eagles see in first-round draft pick Jalen Reagor is a wide receiver who brings juice to an offense that wants to threaten defenses from every angle. The TCU product can get behind defenses with his speed, he can win in the screen game, he can open things up in the underneath game for the rest of the receivers, he brings a threat in the return game, and, most of all, he rounds out a group of playmaking threats that give the Eagles' offense the kind of versatility and completeness that quarterback Carson Wentz craves.

The Eagles wanted explosiveness and that's what they think they have added in Jalen Reagor, the son of former NFL defensive tackle Montae Reagor, who played in seven games with the Eagles in 2007 and then came back to Philadelphia as a coaching intern in the summer of 2011.

"This was a very good receiver draft and there were a lot of different flavors," Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said after the pick was made. "Jalen fit what we were looking for. He's an explosive guy. His ability to contribute as a receiver, as a returner, his ability to be explosive with the ball in his hands were all the things that we were looking for and what Coach (Doug Pederson) and his staff were really trying to stress.

"We were just trying to find the right fit for our football team."

In the NFL's first "virtual" draft, the Eagles stayed put at No. 21 overall and waited. And waited. And wondered if the guy they truly wanted, Reagor, would be there when it was their time to get on the clock.

He was.

And the Eagles – with Roseman at his home, with Pederson in South Jersey, and with Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie at his home – didn't hesitate one moment. They called in the pick and it was Reagor, a speed receiver who catches and runs and is a danger with the ball in his hands. You can imagine the ways the Eagles might want to use Reagor beyond taking advantage of his pure speed. Suddenly, the Eagles have a threat moving Reagor around the offense – finding creative ways to get him the football on jet sweeps, for example, or lining him up in the backfield or getting the football to him in space.

We've got a long way to go before we get to the actual point of projecting Reagor into the offense, but you get the point: The Eagles wanted to add a different dimension to the offense, and in a receiver-rich 2020 NFL Draft, they hung tight at 21 and stayed true to their board and they took the player they wanted all along.

"We're just excited about the player. We'll get him in our building when we can ... and then we'll see where he fits into the offense and on special teams," Pederson said. "Obviously, number one is his speed. This guy can definitely stretch the field. His vertical for a 5-10, 5-11 guy, he can elevate, he can get balls above the rim, as we say. He has the flexibility of not only playing outside but also playing inside and he has the versatility of returning punts and possibly as a kickoff return guy."

So now how does it look on offense? The Eagles have high hopes for veterans DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, both of whom are coming off of 2019 injuries. They think J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, the second-year man, will take a step forward after a tough rookie campaign. They've got Greg Ward as an emerging slot receiver.

Add in the existing weapons at other positions – the tight ends are great, running backs Miles Sanders and Boston Scott are dynamic, the offensive line is one of the best in the league and Wentz is Wentz and, yeah, the Eagles have some legitimate threats across the field.

If there had been an occupied draft room at the NovaCare Complex, the Eagles would have been fist-bumping and celebrating, because this is, truly, the guy they wanted. They kept their intentions close to the vest. Roseman worked the telephones vigorously in the days and weeks leading up to the draft trying to gauge the first 20 picks. As Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the picks from the basement of his home, teams played it conservatively with no trades made in the top 10 of the draft for the first time since 2015.

The receivers came off tantalizingly close to the Eagles at 21, but Roseman resisted the urge to make a move to grab any of the three who went before Reagor – Henry Ruggs went 12th to Las Vegas, Denver took Jerry Jeudy at No. 15, CeeDee Lamb was the 17th pick by Dallas, and then it was time for the Eagles to take Reagor over the likes of LSU's Justin Jefferson, who went No. 22 to Minnesota, and Arizona State's Brandon Aiyuk, who went No. 25 to San Francisco.

"I mean, just even talking to teams right behind us, this guy (Reagor) was going to go. It was hard to find this kind of speed," Roseman said. "It was hard to find outside speed receivers in this draft."

Feast your eyes on the newest Eagle, WR Jalen Reagor.

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