2020 NFL Draft Scouting Prospect Profile: Jalen Reagor, TCU
Jalen Reagor is going to be a prospect that is going to cause some of your favorite fantasy analysts to argue. Depending on who you ask in the NFL draftnik community, he is either going to be way over-drafted or far under drafted. When there are wide receivers who only top 1,000 yards once in their college career who gets mocked in the first round, it is standard for people to ask “Why?” Seasoned dynasty fantasy football players know that market share, breakout age and combine testing are all big parts of this equation but it is not *stupid* to say “Well, where was the production?”
Jalen Reagor Scouting Profile
Jalen Reagor grew up the son of a former NFL player and was a stud in both football and track (a common thread for highly recruited wide receivers). Funnily enough, his high school coach was former NFL QB Jon Kitna! He was rated by ESPN as the No. 6 overall wide receiver recruit in the nation and one of its 10 best players in the state of Texas. Reager elected to go to TCU and was active in his very first game and never redshirted. Reagor played in every game as a true freshman and even started in the teams’ bowl game. His 33 receptions were good for fourth on the team and his eight receiving touchdowns actually lead the Horned Frogs and give him a breakout age of 18 and a half.
It was Reagor’s sophomore season that propelled him into national prominence with 72 receptions, 1,061 yards, and nine touchdowns on a team that did not even reach 2,500 yards passing. No other TCU player had more than 410 yards receiving and no player even came close to his 11 touchdowns. There is some evidence that suggests that a collegiate rushing profile like Reagor’s is indicative of future NFL success so his 13 carries for 170 yards and two touchdowns cannot be ignored. Reagor had good games against Ohio State (7-98), Kansas State (3-92-1) and even scored against Oklahoma as a sophomore. His 42% Dominator Rating as a sophomore is a big part of the case for thinking Reagor is a first-round NFL and rookie dynasty fantasy football draft pick.
TCU was just flat BAD in Reagor’s final season. They won only five games and switched quarterbacks from Kansas State transfer to true freshmen Max Duggan early on in the season. The team threw only 394 passes and again totaled less than 2,500 passing yards. Reagor dropped to a 29% Dominator Rating (still draftable) but the raw totals aren’t good: 43 receptions, 611 yards and five touchdowns which tied him for the team lead in receiving touchdowns.
The analytics case for Reagor is really interesting. He posted sterling market share numbers every year of his career though he had only one breakout raw statistical season. He mostly played on bad, run-first offenses (though we can’t really place that blame on him) and reportedly played injured during stretches of his final season. He is also rather young, as he won’t turn 22 until after his rookie season and will essentially be on the JuJu Smith-Schuster age plan. Many also expect him to put on an otherworldly show at the NFL scouting combine (similar to Mecole Hardman) which should consolidate opinions about his game.
Projecting Jalen Reagor To The NFL
A big part of projecting players for dynasty fantasy football has to be considering what the NFL thinks of those players. For a guy like Reagor, who there is not a consensus on, that is going to be even more important. If we enter a Hakeem Butler situation, where the dynasty community thinks Reagor is an elite asset and he doesn’t go until the fourth round of the NFL draft, we will know that our evaluation is wrong.
If we use Reagor’s draft capital inputs as top 50 in the Rotoviz Box Score Scout, his closet comps are Josh Boyce, Randall Cobb, Mike Wallace, Justin Hunter and Darius Heyward-Bey. Essentially, a cornucopia of extremely fast players who had a wide variety of outcomes in the NFL. Oddly enough, when moving Reagor’s draft capital slider to 100 overall, his closet comp becomes A.J Brown. That outcome feels rather rich but I think it does point to what his upside would be in the NFL.
Ben Solak of The Draft Network sums up the film-aspect of Reagor by writing: “Jalen Reagor is a late Day 1/early Day 2 candidate for teams looking to add electric playmaking ability to their receiving corps. Reagor is not a perfect prospect, as he struggles at times with contested catches and concentration drops, and lacks an elite catch radius for downfield targets — but with that said, he is a silky route-runner with excellent releases off of tight coverage, which provides a very high ceiling for his deployment either outside or in the slot. Reagor is a prime candidate for touches from the backfield, as a returner, and as an underneath receiver given his elusiveness in space and homerun speed. Reagor is an ascending player who was limited by the route tree and deployment offered him by TCU, and while he does present some risk given his struggles with the physical requirements of the game, could sneak his way into the first round off of his upside.”
If Reagor is drafted first or second round after running a 40-yard dash in under 4.39 (as a few reports have claimed), I am going to have an exceedingly hard time keeping him out of my top 10 prospects for rookie drafts. The sort of production he showed in a frigid offensive environment with that game-breaking speed suggests to me that he is a difference-making player in the NFL in a way that a few other highly-regarded prospects in this class just aren’t.