July 19, 2024

Insider predicts Patriots to release former first-round pick

The No. 21 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft will come into training camp on the hot seat with a bunch of star-less receivers battling a position on the 53-man roster. As previously discussed on GH, DeMario Douglas appears to be the leader coming out of OTAs. However, he’s a slot receiver on a team loaded with that precise talent.

Jalen Reagor predicted to be cut before the season

Because of the talent at the slot, Chad Graff with The Athletic wrote that he thinks former Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick Jalen Reagor won’t make the 53-man roster:

“This is where we’ll see the most intriguing roster competition of training camp. The first four listed will all safely make the team. Osborn is probably safe, too. Some teams are content carrying five receivers, but my guess is the Pats will take six. So do you go with Smith-Schuster’s veteran savvy? Reagor’s ability on kickoff returns amid the rule changes? Thornton’s speed?”

“Boutte’s upside (he caught three touchdowns at Wednesday’s final minicamp session)? Or will one of the young players show out in camp? For now, we’ll give the slightest of nods to Smith-Schuster over Reagor only because several other players (including Polk) looked good as kickoff returners in practice — and if Reagor isn’t returning kicks, he probably won’t have a spot on the roster.”

Graff projects the Patriots to keep six receivers: Kendrick Bourne, Ja’Lynn Polk, DeMario Douglas, Javon Baker, K.J. Osborn, and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Reagor’s best chance to stay on the team is for special teams

Reagor, a former standout at Texas Christian, has yet to live up to the hype surrounding him in the 2020 pre-draft process during his first four seasons in the league. He’s recorded 79 receptions for 937 yards and four touchdowns in his career.

Reagor appeared in 11 games and started in one game for the Patriots last season. He recorded seven receptions for 138 yards in 2024.

Reagor has been better as a returner than receiver. He’s been used as a punt returner and kick returner in the NFL. He returned seven kicks for 221 yards (31.6 yards per return average) and scored one touchdown for the Patriots last season.