Matt Daniels Is a Big Fan of Jalen Reagor

Aug 12, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor (18) against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, every NFL team had to cut down their rosters from 80 players to 53 in preparation for the 2022 regular season. Amidst the Minnesota Vikings roster cuts, the team also pulled off a multitude of trades to bring in and send out players. One of the more surprising moves of the cutdown period involved one of these said trades to bring in WR Jalen Reagor.

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This has been discussed ad nauseum over the past week, but Reagor is infamous for being the player that the Philadelphia Eagles selected one pick before the Minnesota Vikings took Justin Jefferson. For being a former first-round pick, he certainly has not lived up to his draft status with his play on the field, catching just 64 passes for 695 yards and three touchdowns.

Despite the underwhelming start to his NFL career, that has not stopped Vikings special teams coordinator Matt Daniels from, quote, “salivating” over the recently acquired Reagor. Here is what Daniels had to say about Reagor when asked about his punt returning abilities at practice on Thursday:

Between [Reagor], CeeDee Lamb, and Brandon Aiyuk, I had those guys really at the top of my list as the top punt returners coming out of [the 2020 Draft], and I think Reagor was number one in my book. What he offers is an immediate guy that spooks the punt team. He has the speed to race for the edge, he can attack you vertically, he can beat you with speed. He’s a guy that’s very confident back there.

Matt Daniels on Jalen Reagor

Some high praise from the Vikings coach, and it’s not entirely unwarranted. While Reagor has not exactly thrived as a wide receiver in this league, his athleticism translates well to punt returning. Over his first two NFL seasons, he’s returned 35 punts for 321 yards, including a 73-yard punt return touchdown during 2020. For all of Matt Daniels’ comments on Jalen Reagor, the full clip is posted below:

This praise from Daniels is promising considering how badly the Vikings needed to figure out their punt returning situation. During preseason, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Jalen Nailor got the reps as the return men, but neither of them truly grabbed hold of the position. Both players had mistakes at the position, and when your returning kicks deep in your own territory, that cannot happen. Hopefully Reagor proves to be an upgrade at the spot for the Vikings.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh‘s hobbies include training for a marathon, playing video games, and rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken