For the Chicago Bears, picking up speedy, big-play producer Jalen Reagor immensely helps the offense score points.
One of the Chicago Bears‘ biggest areas of need in next week’s draft is at wide receiver. Last season, only Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller were the receivers that quarterback Mitch Trubisky could depend to make catches. At first glance, you might think that speedy receiver Taylor Gabriel made his own contributions but his numbers were misleading. His main contribution came in just one game, the Week 3 matchup against Washington.
In 2019, Gabriel had 29 catches. Of those, six (21 percent) came against Washington. He had 353 receiving yards, 21 percent (75) of which came against them as well. Additionally, he had 3 touchdown catches against Washington, which was 75 percent of his total for the season (4).
Because of that, the Bears decided to let Gabriel go. Now the team needs another receiver. They also have Riley Ridley and Javon Wims but Ridley didn’t play much his rookie season so he has to show what he could do this season. Wims is not much more than a seat filler. When the other players need a snap off he could come in and make a catch to help, but he’s not a player you can depend on much.
The Bears need a speedy receiver who can threaten to make a big play any time he touches the ball. That player could be Texas Christian University’s wide receiver Jalen Reagor.
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Height: 5-foot-11 Weight: 206 pounds
Reagor is an explosive, speedy receiver who is a big play waiting to happen. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine but had his Pro Day last week and he was different. He lost weight, getting down to 197 pounds. That, in turn, helped his speed. He turned in a 4.28 and a 4.22, which greatly increases his stock.
Once Reagor has the ball in his hands, he is an electric runner. He is very athletic and does a great job of making defenders miss tackles. He has an incredible change of direction ability and if a defender bites on his double moves they’ll look really bad.
Teams can utilize him in all three levels (short, intermediate, and long plays). His explosiveness helps create separation.
Reagor uses his speed, athleticism, and explosiveness on returns as well. He averaged 20.8 yards per punt return in 2019.
Reagor at times has trouble maintaining focus. The quarterback needs to get him the ball early and let him use his electricity to make plays. Reagor does a better job of making defenders miss tackles than in having him work to get open.
Reagor hasn’t had a lot of good quarterback play in his career with TCU. At times he’s shown his frustrations with that. No matter how bad a quarterback is, he is the one who looks your way and if you keep complaining you might not get the ball. Working with Robinson should help that, however. Robinson has 1,000+ yard-seasons with Blake Bortles and Trubisky, both not among the best throwers in the league, throwing to him.
How does he fit?
Reagor complements both Robinson and Miller (and hopefully Ridley) by extending the defense. That leaves a lot of space for those other receivers to work with, making them more effective.
His speed and explosiveness help the offense add big plays. Adding those types of plays helps the offense from always having to grind out yards and points. The big plays help add more points to the offense. As I’ve mentioned ad nauseam, the Chicago Bears were involved in a number of close games. Five of their losses in 2019 were of eight points or less. Average a few more points and those losses end up as wins and the Bears make the playoffs and/or repeat as division champs. If he is successful with the Bears in 2020, the team should make the playoffs, especially with the new playoff format.
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