Dynasty Draft Profile: Nelson Agholor
May 1, 2015 | Rich Hribar
|21.6||72||198||32 1/4||9 1/4|
*MSYD = % of Team Receiving Yardage
I’ve mentioned this a few times already in these profiles, but I really gravitate to players who consistently improved as their college careers progressed. In 2014, of the 63 receivers with 100 or more targets in 2014, Nelson Agholor’s 77.6 percent catch rate was second in the country, catching 104 of 134 targets. He really closed out his career strongly, going nuclear over his final seven games, posting six receptions for 90 or more receiving yards in six of those final seven games, averaging 8.8 receptions for 129.7 yards with seven scores. Agholor was able to keep ascending in terms of production, something we haven’t seen from previous USC receivers that have been selected highly in the past two offseasons.
Both Woods and Lee had their peak production come as sophomores before closing out their collegiate careers on a somewhat down note. Both were also selected in the early second round which is near the same area many are anticipating Agholor to be taken in this draft. In terms of measured athleticism and production, he appears to be the superior prospect of the three as well.
Not only is Nelson Agholor a receiver that continuously has become a better player in terms of production, but he has the proper mix of requisite athleticism I’m looking for as well. Pulling up his closest final season production and physical profile comparisons also paints a nice outlook for him.
|Golden Tate||Notre Dame||2010||60||21.4||70||199||4.42||35.0||120||12||7.8||124.7||1.2|
Not only is there a raw objective overlap in these players, there also is a strong football trait overlap as well. Where Agholor shines is in sharp cuts and changing speed quickly, using those tools to create separation in routes. His speed and acceleration are strong for his size and like his two closest comparisons; where he really glows is after the catch. Tate led the NFL in yards after the catch in 2014 (709) and Maclin finished 7th (511). Although we don’t have confirmed times from his pro day in agility drills, agility is the least area of concern I have for him.
Agholor was a return game stud; averaging 19.1 yards per punt return in 2013 with four total punt return scores in his career. That open field vision and elusiveness regularly shows up, but he also has a running back mentality after the catch.
Those are plays close to the line of scrimmage, which is the area we can expect Agholor to see the bulk of targets on the NFL. Because of his lean frame, he does struggle with physical play on the outside, especially in press coverage. He certainly has the necessary athleticism, burst and flexibility to be a real weapon in space, but on the outside he wins more with nuance than being a clasher, which is what you’d expect from a player with his profile.
Agholor is one of my personal favorites in this class and he’s been a real bargain thus far in rookie drafts, going on average in the middle of the second round. I have him ranked as the sixth best wide receiver, leading off the third tier of receivers. He’s very good on all three levels of the defense and will find success and his ceiling very quickly in the NFL. That ceiling is lower than those ahead of him, profiling as a real WR2 and more of a fantasy WR3 that can flirt with higher end WR2 and possibly even lower end WR1 fantasy production in the perfect storm. Once you clear the first round, Agholor should be immediately on your radar.
The moon and stars were shining on Agholor last night as the Eagles used the 20th overall selection on him and completely opened the lid on what was one of the early best kept secrets of rookie drafts. If you noticed above, one of Agholor’s main comps was the freshly departed Jeremy Maclin, who left 23.4 percent of the team targets and 28.8 percent of the team receiving yardage on the table. Agholor is more versatile than Jordan Matthews as he can attack every level of the defense and is just as good after the catch. I still see Matthews making a year two stride forward in the offense and being the 2015 lead option for the Eagles, but factoring in Agholor’s skill set and the investment made with higher capital than Matthews, I don’t believe it’s far fetched to see Agholor limit Matthew’s ceiling that many are anticipating him crashing long-term. What was once an early bargain at the turn or in the early second round, we should see the sticker price of Agholor move into the 1.07 range and it’s completely warranted.
Early 2015 Projection: 95.6 TGT/59.3 REC/806.4 YDS/4.7 TD