It made headlines last week when Jalen Reagor said Carson Wentz told him he’s “explosive like Julio.”
As in Julio Jones.
As in the 6-foot-3, 220-pound freak who was the 6th overall pick in the 2011 draft and has grown into arguably the best receiver in the NFL, making seven Pro Bowls including the last six.
On Sunday, Wentz clarified his comparison:
“Well, first of all, Julio, I think he’s the best, one of the best at the very least. By no means am I saying this rookie is Julio Jones right now. Just the way that Jalen – his combination of speed and power – and just watching tape of Julio, I see some similarities with how they run routes.
“I think there’s a lot to learn from watching a guy like Julio that I really challenged him to kind of dissect his game and try to model it to some extent, which in my opinion there’s no better player to model it after than arguably one of the best receivers in the game right now.
“By no means was I saying [Reagor is] at that level. I would never say that to a guy like Julio. But it’s really a feather in the cap to Julio because of his greatness and what I see the potential for Jalen to be and how he really moves and runs routes, his explosiveness that he brings to the table.”
OK, fair enough. All Wentz was doing was simply comparing aspects of Julio’s game to what he thinks Reagor can do. And talking up a rookie is a part of Wentz’s leadership role with the Eagles. Confidence is big and having your quarterback talk you up like that can’t hurt.
Besides, the idea that Wentz would compare Jones (6-3, 220) to Reagor (5-11, 197) as overall receivers is pretty ludicrous. But comparing explosion? Sure, that makes sense.
Even though Reagor ran a bad time in the 40 at the combine, he was in the 97th and 98th percentiles, respectively, for his vertical and broad jumps. And then he showed off his speed at his pro day, proving to be much faster than the 4.47 he ran at the combine.
And all that explosiveness and athleticism has been on full display at the NovaCare Complex this summer.
We’re just a little over a week into padded practices, but early returns on Reagor are good. He looks as fast and explosive as the Eagles expected when they drafted him with the 21st pick back in April.
The rookie from TCU will play a big role with the Eagles in 2020. Maybe he’ll never be Julio Jones — who is? — but he has some rare qualities and it’s clear Wentz is excited about them.