When Justin Jefferson fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2020 NFL draft, many assumed that they would draft the young receiver out of LSU’s legendary program. However, the Eagles took Jalen Reagor.
While Jefferson has been performing like a young superstar, Reagor has to stay on the field. It might just be a few weeks into their careers, but the Eagles might regret this choice for years to come.
Justin Jefferson’s dominant college days
Jefferson spent three years with LSU. After spending most of his freshman season on the bench, Ed Orgeron started looking at him in 2018. After a wildly successful sophomore season, Jefferson’s third season was the one that put him on the map of many NFL scouts. He amassed 1,540 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in 15 games.
Not only was Jefferson performing well as an individual, but the Tigers were also in constant contention throughout the season, going undefeated on the year on their way to winning the College Football Championship over Clemson.
Everything was looking up for Jefferson, and the question was no longer whether he was good enough for the NFL. Instead, it was just how high he would get drafted.
Preparing for the NFL Draft
Justin Jefferson was believed to be a comfortable first-round pick in the 2020 Draft, and for a good reason. While other receivers like Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy were high up on the list, Jefferson’s relentless way of attacking the field made him a favorite. When the Philadelphia Eagles were on the board at 21, all the stars aligned to get Jefferson.
The Eagles were looking to bolster their offense, hoping that a healthy Carson Wentz could finally have his marquee year. Although Wentz has proven he can be a star, the lack of help on offense has been the one thing, save for untimely injuries, that holds him back to this day. A weapon like Jefferson could change everything.
Everything was looking up for both Jefferson and the Eagles. However, despite coming off a championship season in which he made himself a household name, the Eagles looked elsewhere and drafted Jalen Reagor out of TCU.
While Reagor was far from a slouch in college, receiving for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore and just around 600 yards the other two years, he wasn’t the player Jefferson is.
Once the season started, this was only made clearer, too. Reagor struggled to stay on the field, and back problems made him look hobbled when he was on it. For a team looking to build off a recent Super Bowl, this move could haunt them for many years.
How good is Justin Jefferson?
Jefferson fell to the Minnesota Vikings with the next pick. For a team that needed a bolstered offense, he proved to be the perfect receiver to bail out Kirk Cousins when he is in a pickle.
It didn’t take long for Jefferson to come through. He had 26 yards in his first game and 44 in the second one. However, in a week three game against Tennessee, he truly broke out and showed that he belonged.
Although the Vikings lost the game, Jefferson amassed 175 receiving yards, following it up with a 100-yard performance the following week at Houston.
Although he is still young and has a long way to go before proving himself to be a star, the signs are there that the Vikings have something special. Meanwhile, the Eagles are struggling, with Wentz having nine interceptions through five games.
One wrong move in the NFL draft can set a team back for years. While it wasn’t that long ago that the Eagles were hoisting the Super Bowl trophy, they needed to nail this pick if they wanted to make up for it going forward. Time is not up for Reagor, but even if Reagor is an outstanding player, Jefferson’s looming stardom could haunt them for quite some time.