The 2020 draft will be defined by the quarterbacks and receivers. Multiple wide outs will be taken in round one.
I’m starting to wonder whether Jalen Reagor is the best of the lot.
College football is littered with receivers who dominate overmatched cornerbacks. Spread systems also extend the field to make stat-building a lot easier. So many players get overhyped on production and perceived ability that won’t translate.
The thing to look for is easy separation. A lot of college receivers box-out defenders or the quarterback takes a five-step drop in the gun to open up everything underneath. If a player is creating separation with quickness and savvy routes you’re onto a winner. The 2014 class is a great example of this. Odell Beckham Jr and Mike Evans made it look so easy with the way they separated from defenders. It’s easy to say now but you could just tell they were destined to be top pro’s. Receiver can be one of the easier positions to analyse if you’re looking for the right traits.
A lot of the top receivers in this class create that easy separation. Henry Ruggs reportedly runs in the 4.2’s and flashes for Alabama. So do team mates Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith. K.J. Hamler can separate with his quickness. Ceedee Lamb is slightly different and plays a lot like Cordarrelle Patterson with receiving skills. It’s harder to judge Laviska Shenault because he’s used as a bit of a receiver and a bit of a runner and isn’t having a good final year at Colorado.
Reagor has extreme speed and quickness and you see him getting open on shorter routes with ease but he can also take the top off a defense by running deep on go-routes and posts. He’s sturdy with a good looking frame at about 5-11 and 195lbs and isn’t pushed around when he has to compete.
The thing that impressed me most is the way he has an impact in the red zone. There are several examples of him winning jump-balls and high-pointing the football with great arm extension. Despite not being the biggest, you can throw it up to him in a 1v1 battle.
His catching technique is clean, he can win on the shorter routes and he’s not just a downfield threat. As I watched the games I just kept wondering why you wouldn’t put him in the top-20. Where are the weaknesses?
At SPARQ he ran a 4.41. After a few years in college and with specific sprint training before the combine he could easily get that into the early 4.3’s. He also jumped a 38.5 inch vertical at SPARQ. He’s going to test superbly at the combine — possibly even better than Ruggs.
They might be the two to keep an eye on. Ruggs does a terrific job extending his arms to catch away from his frame and he too is an incredibly rounded wide-out and not just a sprinter. Both players are major home-run threats but they can also be incorporated into a system as potential #1 targets. DeVonta Smith also has a lot of suddenness and is extremely underrated by the media.
To cap it all off, Reagor’s interviews are great. He’s focused, interesting, passionate and determined. You can imagine teams really going for him when they get a chance to sit down and talk.
I think there’s a good chance the Seahawks will target adding a receiver with their first pick. Although their biggest need is clearly pass rush, the options are weak in the 2020 class. They might have to turn to free agency for answers there. The receiving options, however, appear to be excellent.
I’d love to be able to project Reagor to the Seahawks. I sense, however, that by the time we get into March and April he’ll have improved his stock so much he’ll be out of range. He’s underrated. He’s a fantastic talent. He’s a top-20 player for me.
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