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Crabbs | Nelson Agholor 2015 NFL Draft retrospect

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

Philadelphia Eagles

Crabbs | Nelson Agholor 2015 NFL Draft retrospect

This is exactly why you don’t write off players after one season, or even two. Don’t look now, but widely regarded “bust” Nelson Agholor is looking as though he’s finally turned the corner in his third year with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles invested the 20th overall selection in Agholor back in 2015, but the USC product struggled with drops and getting off press coverage during his rookie and sophomore seasons.

Before investigating how Agholor has been able to revive his career, it’s important to understand where he stood as a player entering the 2015 NFL Draft.

Kyle Crabbs’ 2015 NFL Draft report on WR Nelson Agholor

The knocks noted on Agholor in this report included both of the issues that showed up early in Agholor’s career: the hands aren’t always the most natural when having to receive the football and getting off press coverage.

But I, for one, did not foresee Agholor struggling as much as he did in this area. His limitations were accentuated by a role on the boundary, the Eagles’ receiving core missed true boundary targets and that forced Agholor to try to win at the line of scrimmage and on the boundary for his first two seasons.

Fast forward to this year and the Eagles moved Jordan Matthews, opening up a role for Agholor to play in the slot. The end result? Agholor’s production has never been greater and his career looks to have new life.

After six games, Agholor has already exceeded his career high for each of the following categories:

  • Touchdowns (4)
  • 20 yard receptions (5)
  • 40 yard receptions (2)
  • Career long (72 yards)

These career high numbers are modest, but they’re also over only 6 games. Extrapolate Agholor’s current pace over 16 games and you’ll get some strong numbers.

Agholor’s current 16 game pace – 53 receptions, 856 receiving yards, 16.1 yards per catch, 10 receiving touchdowns

While those numbers still aren’t indicative of the kind of production you’d like to see from an individual top 20 selection, it’s light years better than what Agholor has given thus far. And just as importantly, with Alshon Jeffery on the boundary and Zach Ertz playing like a star at the Tight End position, the Eagles are winning football games.

Beyond the production, Agholor is playing with confidence. He’s far too quick for many defenders assigned to cover him in the middle of the field, and he’s catching the ball with consistency away from his body.

Additionally, looking back over Agholor’s film assessment coming out of USC and he’s back to threatening on all three levels (short, intermediate and long) and winning with quickness before and after the catch.

Perhaps Agholor isn’t a bust after all.

Kyle Crabbs

Kyle Crabbs is the founder/Director of Scouting of NDT Scouting Services, a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the lead NFL Draft analyst for the FanRag Sports Network.

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