Can Jalen Reagor Parlay Recent Momentum?

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The Minnesota Vikings traded 5th- and 7th-Round draft picks to the Philadelphia Eagles on August 31st, 2022, for wide receiver Jalen Reagor.

Vikings fans immediately approved the move, elated about adding a former 1st-Round talent to a depth chart already showcasing Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn.

Can Jalen Reagor Parlay Recent Momentum?

But then the games hit in 2022, and Reagor never really took off in Year No. 1 as a Viking. In fact, the lasting memory of Reagor heading into the 2023 offseason was two flubbed routes against the Indianapolis Colts that caused interceptions.

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All told, Reagor tabulated 8 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown last season. Of all 31 NFLers who returned 15+ punts in 2022, Reagor’s 6.2 yards per return ranked 31st in the league. His production flatly didn’t impress, and accordingly, he was theorized on the roster bubble heading into 2023 training camp.

To his credit, however, the tide is changing about his 2023 trajectory.

Can Jalen Reagor
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Reagor has actionized a productive training camp, ‘looking the part’ of a Vikings WR4 and beginning to put to rest the late-summer cut theories. Then, in the team’s first preseason game last week, Reagor led the team in receptions and receiving yards, banking 4 catches for 55 yards (in about half the game).

Of course, that’s ‘only preseason,’ but he was called upon — and delivered, albeit in an exhibition setting.

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When the Vikings released their first-but-unofficial depth chart nine days ago, Reagor lived here:

WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: K.J. Osborn
WR3: Jalen Nailor
WR4: Jordan Addison
WR5: Jalen Reagor
WR6: Brandon Powell
WR7: Blake Proehl
WR8: Trishton Jackson
WR9: Lucky Jackson
WR10: Thayer Thomas
WR11: N’Keal Harry
WR12: Garett Maag
WR13: Jacob Copeland

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Minnesota will likely keep five WRs to start the season — that’s what it did last year — and Reagor is hovering right around the cut-off. Now, at joint practices in the next few days against the Tennessee Titans and the clubs’ preseason showdown Saturday night, Reagor merely has to keep up the momentum.

The job is his for the taking, needing to fend off Brandon Powell, who is basically Jalen Reagor without spiffy 1st-Round draft stock.

Reagor is right there. He can erase some of the blah first impression in 2022 by making the 53-man roster and contributing through the air in the Vikings offense. This summer could’ve gone quite differently for him, but he has changed the narrative and seems poised to win the WR4 or WR5 job.

Even he recognizes it:

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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