Thurmond Raves About Agholor
In Chip Kelly’s first draft with full control of personal decisions, including final say on all draft picks, the Eagles selected WR, Nelson Agholor from USC. The pick received high praise from several draft experts. Bryan Fischer, of NFL.COM, said “Don’t be surprised if he has the most catches of any rookie wideout next season.” Mel Kiper Jr. raved about the selection. “First-round WR Nelson Agholor has great separation skills and can beat you from the slot or the outside.”
Now Agholor’s potential is resonating within the organization. Walter Thurmond III, who the Eagles signed in the offseason, is very optimistic about the Eagles new playmaker. Thurmond, who played with the Giants in 2014, placed lofty expectations on Agholor; comparing him to last years rookie of the year Odell Beckham Jr. “I’ve talked to him (Agholor) quite a bit through OTAs and minicamp to see where his mind was. He is the type that takes in the knowledge that he’s given and really applies it. He has tremendous athletic ability. He could have a year like Odell did last season.”
Perhaps no one has more credibility when comparing Agholor to Beckham. Thurmond witnessed Beckham become great, and if he states that he is beginning to see the same season out of Agholor then Eagles fans should be excited. Let’s compare the two dynamic receivers collegiate careers.
Nelson Agholor’s 2014 season at USC
- 13 games played
- 104 receptions
- 1,313 yards
- 12 Touchdowns
Odell Beckham JR. 2013 season at LSU
- 13 games played
- 59 receptions
- 1,152 yards
- 8 Touchdowns
However, the production that Beckham had last season was unparalleled to any other rookie receiver; in a year where rookie receivers were very successful. In 12 games played, Beckham had 95 receptions, 1,305 yards, and 12 touchdowns. His average game as a rookie consisted of 7.9 receptions for 108.75 yards and a touchdown. That production is unlikely for Agholor next season. Philly has an abundance of weapons offensively. Including a backfield with three pro bowlers, Zach Ertz who is expected to breakout in 2015, and last years rookie receiver Jordan Matthews. Not to mention Josh Huff who will have a bigger role in year two.
Agholor is going to be crucial next season, but won’t match the same statistics that Beckham posted. He is still a solid candidate for rookie of the year in 2015. As Thurmond said he is athletically gifted and wants to be great. He pays attention to details and is extremely coachable. Those intangibles to go along with God-given talent has Philadelphia fans very pleased with Kelly’s first round selection.
The only problem is that Agholor has often had concerns over his catch radius. The former USC star has been pegged as having problems completing passes, but with the right coaching staff and surrounded by veteran talent in an Offense that thrives on short bursts, it’s a worry that should be flattened.
Last season Kelly played Jordan Matthews in the slot for the majority of his snaps; that may be different for Agholor. Expect Agholor to line up in the slot and on the outside, as versatility is one of his strengths.
In 2014 Jordan Matthews had the best overall season for a rookie receiver in Eagles history. DeSean Jackson beat him in terms of yardage, but Matthews overall production was more impressive.
DeSean Jackson 08/09 rookie season
- 62 receptions
- 912 yards
- 2 Touchdowns
Jordan Matthews 13/14 rookie season
- 67 receptions
- 872 yards
- 8 Touchdowns
Agholor Rookie Season prediction
Going out on the limb, the prediction for Agholors rookie season is that he will be the most productive rookie receiver for the birds in franchise history.
- 70 receptions
- 1,200 Yards
- 6 Touchdowns
Now those numbers are not as impressive as what Beckham posted in 2014, but the lone reason for that is the role comparisons. After Victor Cruz missed the majority of the season, and RB Rashard Jennings missed some time, Beckham was the consistent play maker on the Giants offense. This allowed for Manning and Beckham to build a rapport and for the offense to revolve around the rookie talent. Agholor is going to receive less targets, but is still going to take the league by storm with his athleticism. Returning punts is also an aspect of Agholor’s where he excels. Immediately, he may be the best receiver on the birds in terms of yards after the catch.