Doug Pederson convinced Eagles to pass on drafting Justin Jefferson
The Philadelphia Eagles have been in desperate need of a star wide receiver for a few years now.
It turns out, their former head coach might have caused the organization to pass on a golden opportunity to draft one.
According to Pro Football’s Benjamin Albright (via PFT’s Dalton Miller), Doug Pederson “convinced” the Eagles’ brass to select speedy wide receiver Jalen Reagor with the no. 21 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. One pick later, the Minnesota Vikings selected Justin Jefferson, fresh off winning a national title for a historically good LSU squad.
As a rookie, Jefferson posted 88 receptions for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns, earning Pro Bowl honors. Reagor had 31 receptions in 11 games in 2020 and scored one TD.
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie fired Pederson on Monday, citing disagreements over personnel decisions and the future direction of the franchise. In parting ways with Pederson, Lurie essentially sided with general manager Howie Roseman, who repeatedly clashed with the former head coach.
Albright added that the organization did not initially intend on letting Pederson go, but after-season meetings revealed friction between the coach and front office.
“The Eagles weren’t necessarily going into that meeting looking to fire Doug,” Albright reported. “I can tell you that after the conversation that they had it became apparent that not everybody was on the same page. Doug Pederson felt like he wasn’t really allowed to coach in the way that he wanted to coach. He felt dictated to by ownership and the front office. He felt like he wasn’t really able to do what it is that he wanted and needed to do as a coach and have the autonomy as a head coach that he needed to have.”
In five years with the Eagles, Pederson compiled a 42-37 regular-season record and oversaw the team’s stellar Super Bowl run in 2017-18. Philadelphia went 4-11-1 this past season.