It’s the time of year where both rookies and veterans alike are fighting for coveted roster spots. One of the biggest names that people are looking at for the Philadelphia Eagles is their first-round pick, wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
The wide receiver from the University of Southern California is a force to be reckoned with. His route running, quickness and his ability after the catch easily catch the eye of both coaches and fellow players. At 6-1, 198 pounds, Agholor isn’t the biggest receiver but he’s the type of receiver that fits well in head coach Chip Kelly’s offense. But as such a high draft pick, there come certain expectations and many expect Agholor to exceed them.
The uptempo style of offense operated by Kelly can trip rookies up. Agholor has had a few ups and downs during the first week of camp. He’s had a harder time translating his skills on the field than Jordan Matthews did last season. Granted, Matthews played in the slot and Agholor is taking reps on the outside. He came into practice a little slow but that’s normal for rookies. There’s a lot thrown at these young players at once. Especially when they’re thrown into competition with guys who have been playing professionally longer and who have a handle on the offensive system.
Through one week of training camp, Agholor has struggled a bit at times with drops but Matthews had the some issue as a rookie early on as well. One of the hardest things for Agholor now is maintaining the same level of intensity during practices. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Agholor spoke at training camp saying “I think I could have been a little bit more focused, but I think I bounced back. And that’s all it’s about. I want to progress every day and I also like facing opportunities. I was a little bit uncomfortable with the things I did today and I wanted to get back out there and be resilient.”
“I think I could have been a little bit more focused, but I think I bounced back. And that’s all it’s about.”
Once the rookie hiccups pass, Agholor will be able to find a sense of comfort. He has a strong work ethic and the right mindset. He took reps with the second string during the first few days of training camp and lately has mixed in with the starters as well. He’s showing his speed by getting in and out of breaks easily. He’s fast down the field and makes himself open near the sidelines. His speed is a highlight and will be one of his strengths going forward.
It will be interesting to see where Agholor lands once the final roster has been drawn up. There’s a very likely chance that an outstanding performance the rest of training camp will impress Kelly enough to replace either Cooper or Huff on the outside. He could also alternate with running back Darren Sproles as a punt returner, especially with his speed.
He’s impressed both his coaches and teammates so far and it’ll only continue. Once Agholor is comfortable with the system, he’ll be a great player to watch grow and develop. The next few weeks are going to be fun to watch.
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