For two years, Jalen Reagor has been known as the wide receiver taken one pick ahead of Justin Jefferson in the 2020 draft. Now, Jefferson is his teammate on the Vikings.
Jefferson has gone on to catch 196 passes for 3,016 yards in his first two seasons with Minnesota after being selected No. 22 in 2022. Meanwhile, Reagor, taken No. 21 by Philadelphia, had a meager 64 receptions for 695 yards in his first two years.
Last Wednesday, the Vikings acquired Reagor from the Eagles and he took the field Monday at the TCO Performance Center for a practice. He was asked before the workout if it weighs on him being known as the guy Philadelphia took at wide receiver instead of Jefferson.
“No, because I believe what’s slow is for show, what’s fast don’t last,’’ Reagor said. “So, you just take it a day at a time and whatever happens, happens.”
For now, Reagor wants to embrace being on the same team with Jefferson.
“It’s a blessing,’’ said Reagor, who got to know Jefferson a bit when going through the draft process in 2020. “He’s a great player, great receiver and just to be alongside him, learn from him, learn from other receivers, especially him and Adam (Thielen), so I’m just taking all I can and be a sponge and be a great teammate.’’
Reagor is the Vikings’ No. 4 receiver behind Jefferson, Thielen and K.J. Osborn, and it remains to be seen how many snaps he will get from scrimmage when the Vikings open the season Sunday against Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium. But Reagor said special teams coordinator Matt Daniels has “emphasized to me that I’m going to handle” the punt returns.
“I take a lot of pride in it,’’ Reagor said. “(I want) to be a spark in everywhere I can.”
As a rookie, Reagor averaged 23.5 yards on four punt returns, including a 73-yard return for a touchdown. But being given regular duty on returns last season, he averaged a pedestrian 7.3 yards on 31 attempts.
Reagor’s Philadelphia tenure was hardly spectacular. And he doesn’t deny it.
“I feel like I could have done way better but things like that you don’t dwell on,’’ he said. “I can’t change it. That’s why I got a new opportunity, a new place to be and Sunday I get another chance to show what I can do.’’
The Vikings sent the Eagles a conditional 2024 fourth- or fifth-round pick and a 2023 seventh-round selection for Reagor. He embraced the move.
“I was excited,’’ he said. “A lot of emotions, a lot going on, of course leaving automatically from Philly coming here. I felt welcome being here. … (It’s) just another opportunity just to show what I can do. So I’m going to make the most of that and let everything come to me.”