As unhappy as many fans are with the Green Bay Packers’ 2020 NFL Draft class, there already is an unheralded option in house that can help address their lacking offensive weapons – and he plays wide receiver.
Reggie Begelton, a Canadian Football League star, was signed to a futures deal on January 6, 2020, ensuring that even though Begelton would not be joining the team for the remainder of their 2019-20 regular season, he would be able to fight for a role in the upcoming season’s training camps and preseason slate.
For Begelton, his trek to get his shot at the NFL was a very long one, which started all the way back in high school, when his lackluster high school career garnered no substantial movement in earning any sort of a football scholarship, making his dreams very much incapable of coming true.
He attended Lamar University, a Division-I FCS school, on a walk-on basis as a receiver while attending school for chemical engineering. The fact that Lamar was in his backyard practically and had just reinstituted their football program in 2010 was a perfect storm for Begelton, evne though it did take him until his junior season to earn any sort of a scholarship.
Now on a partial scholarship, Begelton was able to produce 20 touchdowns and over 2,400 yards throughout his career, but that was not enough to garner substantial NFL attention, as he went undrafted in 2016.
The numbers that he put up at a Pro Day helped get him on the radar of some teams, which included Green Bay at the time having been in attendance for workouts, so the interest from both parties has been evident from the beginning, which speaks to the development that Begelton has shown since then.
After taking time off from football, Begelton eventually signed with the Calgary Stampede of the CFL and put up eye-popping stats up north, including a 2019 season that saw him finish second in the CFL with 102 catches and third in receiving yardage with 1,444, which was all combined with 10 touchdowns.
Begelton’s rise to finally being on NFL teams radars’ was almost finalized, with the final piece to the puzzle coming in the shape of GB signing Begelton to a future’s deal for three years and $2.292 million, according to Rob Born of TotalPackers.
Now while Begelton still has a ton to prove at the NFL level, his skill set should immediately jump off the page for coaches whenever the players are able to get back onto the field.
His physical traits (six foot and 200 pounds) is a very nice tall addition to the receiver’s group, but his athletic abilities and his speed (albeit it average) will become even more important aspects as he earns his playing time.
Begelton projects as a slot receiver, which could help keep the likes of Davante Adams and Allen Lazard out wide to help maximize their capabilities, while Begelton tears up the defense through crossing routes, drive concepts, and slant combos.
Competition wise, Begelton will be fighting Jake Kumerow, Equanimeous St. Brown, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and undrafted rookie free agent Darrell Stewart out of Michigan State for the spots behind Adams, Lazard, and free-agent signee Devin Funchess.
The odds of this team holding onto more than six receivers on their active roster looks to be slimming by the day, especially with their change in focus to being more of a run-first team. Outside of the roster locks of Adams, Lazard, and Funchess, St. Brown and Valdes-Scantling most likely have the odds in their favor to make the roster again, meaning that there would be one final spot available between Kumerow, Begelton, and Stewart.
Nothing is ever guaranteed in the sport of football, and with the steps that Begelton has been on for his career so far, he is very much aware of that too. But with the skill set and proven abilities that he has shown, do not be surprised if he represents another diamond in the rough found by the team’s front office that joins the rest of the receivers in making Aaron Rodgers’ job hopefully just a little bit easier.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23