Nelson Agholor ready to become playmaker the Eagles need him to be


The Philadelphia Eagles biggest concern entering the 2016 season was the team’s wide receiver group.

Jordan Matthews is the most polished of the group. Dorial Green-Beckham was acquired from the Titans after they gave up on the 2015 second-round pick after one season. Josh Huff hasn’t panned out the way the Eagles have hoped. Nelson Agholor, the team’s 2015 first-round pick, was coming off a miserable rookie season. Agholor could be turning over a new leaf after his week one performance.

Agholor clearly lost confidence during his rookie season in 2015. The wide receiver finished with 23 receptions for 283 receiving yards and one touchdown. Those statistics were very underwhelming, especially for a first-round pick.

Agholor already tied his touchdown amount in the first week of the 2016 season. He caught a 35 yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, while beating former pro-bowl cornerback, Joe Haden, on man-to-man coverage. That play will stick in Agholor’s mind throughout the week and may even instill the confidence he lost throughout 2015.

Eagles rookie quarterback, Carson Wentz, clearly proved he was confident in his team’s playmakers regardless of national perception of the group. He targeted Agholor five times during the team’s 29-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns and Agholor caught four of those targets.

Former Eagles starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, shied away from Agholor after his inconsistencies in 2015, but that doesn’t seem to be the approach Wentz is taking. Matthews dropped a couple of easy catches during the week one matchup, but that didn’t deter Wentz from throwing his way. Expect Agholor to receive the same treatment from his quarterback, which will continue to boost his confidence.

What appeared to be a weakness for the Eagles heading into the 2016 season has already turned into a strength. The Eagles’ passing attack started off with a bang with the rookie Wentz under center and head coach, Doug Pederson, calling the plays. The more chemistry the offense grows, the more successful passing plays we could potentially see. Agholor has already put 2015 in the rear view mirror and believes he’ll step up into his first-round pick status in 2016.

“When people allude to last year, between you, me and anyone else interested, I don’t focus on last year,” Agholor said this week.

“I’ve put last year behind me. I went out last year and played hard. The results were not what I wanted, or what I was OK with, but at the end of the day progression was made every snap.

Now, I have to make the most of that. I was blessed to get another year in the league, another year here, and that’s all I’m focused on right now. We got through and won game one and now it’s on to the Chicago Bears .”

Agholor’s mindset is in the right place. Hopefully he can continue to improve on a weekly basis and give the Eagles receiving corps another reliable option to pair with Matthews. Time will tell, but Agholor is ready to get into the end zone again this Monday.