Punch Drunk Wonderland

Is Nelson Agholor the Perfect Jeremy Maclin Replacement?

The first round of the 2015 NFL Draft is in the books and there wasn’t as much trade action as I was hoping to see. However, there was a fairly surprising move (or lack thereof) by the Philadelphia Eagles that has people talking today. Amidst weeks of trade talk and speculation Philly stayed put at pick #20 to pick up wide receiver Nelson Agholor. We were expecting something shocking from Chip Kelly, and what we got was…meh. But, you have our attention. Will the rookie be able to fill the void left by Jeremy Maclin’s departure? Our friends at numberFire.com have taken a look at the Eagles’ pick and Agholor’s potential.

The first round of any NFL Draft has plenty of sexy picks. Nelson Agholor isn’t one of them. He doesn’t have the crazy speed of a Kevin White, he doesn’t have the huge height of a Dorial Green-Beckham, and he doesn’t have the insane stats of an Amari Cooper.

My grandfather would often say when he’d beat me at a hand in poker, “I’d rather be lucky than good any day.” But I imagine if my grandfather was Tom Coughlin or Bill Belichick he might say “I’d rather be good than sexy.”

And Nelson Agholor is just that. He’s good.

He didn’t run a 4.35 40-yard dash like Kevin White, but his 4.42 40 time was tied for seventh in the class. He didn’t have 1,700-plus receiving yards like Amari Cooper, but he ranked seventh in receptions (104), seventh in touchdowns (12), and ninth in yards (1313).

Agholor played in an NFL pro-style offense at USC, lining up inside and out while displaying strong ability both after the catch and on the deep ball. He excels between the tackles and at getting separation whether through speed, burst, sharp breaks, or a variety of release moves. He’s a polished route-runner who catches the ball well and is considered one of the more elusive receivers in the class.

He displays good vision, balance, ball-handling, and — perhaps most importantly — good judgment. He’s smart, physical, plays hard and with good-effort, is a versatile option, and was named a team captain last year (his Junior year).

So, what’s there not to like? His critics argue that, although he does all of these things, he lacks the size and athletic ability to become a WR1. While he does have strong fundamentals, at 6”1” and 198 pounds, he’ll get overpowered on blocks and jammed at the line by more physical corners.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...