We know how Mike Quick feels about Nelson Agholor. In fact, many Eagles fans are hoping the last two seasons were an anomaly regarding Agholor’s production, because he’s turned many heads in training camp.
Yes … training camp.
I know, I know. Hell, I remember when Todd Pinkston and Ronnie Brown turned heads in training camp. We’ve been here before. But Nelson Agholor was a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and so expectations for him have been understandably high. Right under Jordan Matthews on the depth chart the last couple of seasons, Agholor failed to deliver what I’m sure he thinks he’s capable of.
But now with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith as the big wide receiver acquisitions of the offseason, the pressure on Agholor will be considerably less. And that bodes well for the entire offense, which, by all accounts, looks pretty damn good in training camp. Of course, we’ll see how that plays out in the preseason.
But at least one national pundit thinks Agholor will be the Birds’ slot receiver, taking over the primary spot for Jordan Matthews. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, who would seem to be pretty keyed into the Eagles’ front office given they interviewed him for the position that Joe Douglas now holds, said on his podcast, Move the Sticks, that Agholor’s going to “live in the slot.” Here’s part of the transcription, via PhillyVoice’s Jimmy Kempski:
“Nelson Agholor has had a total rebirth. He’s in the slot. He’s going to live in the slot. He’s going to be their slot receiver. I’ll be shocked if he’s not. I don’t know what that means for Jordan Matthews.
“Agholor is a lot more dynamic. Last year against the Seahawks he just turned Richard Sherman inside out, but he dropped the ball. Getting separation was not his issue last year. Just being able to finish, and he was doing a nice job, and it sounds like he’s really focused.
“To me, the interesting thing is when you have a guy like last year with Nelson Agholor, you’re trying to force him to be a No. 2 receiver. You really don’t even have a 1. Maybe he’s trying to be the lead guy. Now you come in and say, ‘Look, you’re No. 3.’ It just puts everyone in the right pecking order and releases some of that pressure on these guys.”
It makes sense for Agholor to have one of his best seasons given the talent now surrounding him. Now, should a team lose a wide receiver to injury or inquire about Jordan Matthews – who is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season – it’s entirely possible the Eagles could trade him before the season even begins. If Agholor moves to the slot, that may bode well for guys like Greg Ward, Jr., Marcus Johnson and Shelton Gibson, who may be able to grab an open spot if Matthews is dealt.
I have to admit, I’m kind of glad that everyone’s pretty hyped up about Agholor. He’s handled himself pretty well given the criticisms he’s endured. Not to say he hasn’t deserved it, but coming back and proving his doubters wrong on the field could be the redemption of a lifetime for him.
Jeremiah also had some other tidbits about the Eagles, most notably Alshon Jeffery, who’s missed four straight practices:
“Alshon Jeffery was contorting his body and making the same crazy catches he always does. I know people are worried about his shoulder. He’s missed three or four practices. Look – They’re putting him on ice. They know. They saw plenty. You don’t need to see a whole lot of him in the preseason. So don’t freak out if you’re in fantasy football or if you’re a fan of the Eagles. He’s going to be just fine.”
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