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Howie Roseman Says Eagles Regret Drafting Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 6, 2022

Howie Roseman (Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman opened up about the team's decision to select Jalen Reagor before fellow wide receiver Justin Jefferson in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.

"It's obvious. I'm not going to sit here and lie. We'd love to have that moment back," Roseman said Tuesday on 94 WIP radio.

Reagor made just 64 catches across two seasons in Philly before getting traded last week to the Minnesota Vikings, where he'll be a teammate of Jefferson, a two-time Pro Bowler who's one of the league's most dynamic offensive weapons.

Roseman explained Tuesday the front office was too focused on fit rather than talent when it made the pick two years ago:

"I think a lot of the message there is, we just have to take the best players at all times. We don't have to worry so much about fit or what we have on the team. You go back to that moment, we had two tight ends who were really good in the middle of the field, Greg Ward was coming off of a really good year in the slot. [We] were looking for a specific role as opposed to just grading the players. That's on me, 100 percent. At the end of the day, I'm responsible for all of that. But I also promise you one thing, if I make a mistake I'm going to do everything in my power to make it up."

Missing on the Reagor selection at No. 21 cost the Eagles far more than one first-round pick because they had to keep investing in the position over the past couple of years.

First, they used the 10th overall pick in the 2021 draft on DeVonta Smith, who put together a promising rookie campaign with 64 catches for 916 yards and five touchdowns.

Then they traded first- and third-round selections in the 2022 draft to acquire A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans in April.

It's fair to wonder whether those assets could have been used to upgrade the roster elsewhere if Reagor, like Jefferson, emerged as a top-tier No. 1 wideout.

Philadelphia also didn't get much in return for the 23-year-old TCU product, who headed to the Vikes in exchange for a 2023 seventh-rounder and a conditional 2024 fourth- or fifth-rounder.

Reagor told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press on Monday he's excited for the opportunity to play alongside Jefferson following the trade.

"It's a blessing," he said. "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 may be able to carve out a niche as the No. 4 receiver in Minnesota behind Jefferson, Thielen and K.J. Osborn. His path to living up to first-round expectations remains long, though.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have successfully rebuilt their receiver room, but clearly Roseman still thinks about one of his biggest mistakes as a GM.

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