Philadelphia Eagles: Realistic expectations for Nelson Agholor in 2017

Jun 13, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor (13) runs during mini camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor (13) runs during mini camp at NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor has shown promise this offseason, but here are realistic expectations for him in 2017.

If you know anything about the Philadelphia Eagles, you see that their 2015 first-round pick, wide receiver Nelson Agholor, is on the verge of being labeled a bust. The former USC pass-catcher was the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Right after the Eagles selected Agholor, Mike Mayock of NFL Network said this:

"“Agholor is a precise route runner. He has added value as a great returner. He reminds you of Jeremy Maclin, the guy he’s replacing. Agholor can play anywhere, outside and in the slot. The Philadelphia Eagles are going to love him.”"

Expectations were high for Agholor, but no one expected him to play as poorly as he did in his rookie season. Agholor ended the year with only 23 catches for 283 yards and one score. The disaster of a rookie season as topped of by Pro Football Focus ranking him as their worst receiver in the NFL. Luckily for Agholor, Philadelphia is a forgiving city…and the fans wanted to see what he could do in his sophomore season.

After endless boos for him all season, Agholor’s 36 reception, 365 yards, and two touchdowns once again earned him the spot as the league’s worst wide receiver according to Pro Football Focus.

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Had it not been for his rookie contract, Agholor would have either been cut or traded this offseason. However, since it would cost more money to get rid of him than to keep him, Agholor has one last chance to make something happen before he gets the boot in Philly. And according to many reporters from Eagles minicamp, Agholor is making the most of that chance.

New Eagles wide receivers coach Mike Groh has done some voodoo on the third year receiver because he has reportedly, “looked like a different receiver,” via Jeff McLane of For the practices open to the media, Agholor has balled out and made sure his name was relevant in a positive manner. He’s been catching bombs (via Brandon Lee Gowton of BGN) from second-year quarterback Carson Wentz and showing that maybe he’s just a late bloomer.

He switched to the slot this year, and since regular slot wide receiver Jordan Matthews has been injured, Agholor is making the most of the stolen reps. One thing that Agholor has going for him is the support of Wentz. There are no cookie cutter answers from Wentz regarding his struggling receiver, but instead, he genuinely supports him and believes he will finally breakthrough in 2017.

All of that sounds great, but what can you expect from Agholor in 2017? From what I’ve seen, Eagles fans are mixed on Agholor. Some fans believe he will be the same terrible receiver he’s been in his first two seasons, while others think he could have a breakout year.

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The stars are aligned for Agholor to improve in 2017. Wentz is a star in the making at quarterback. Groh looks to have a great rapport with the wide receivers. The Eagles signed Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to take some of the pressure off of Agholor to make plays. LeGarrette Blount should help open up the passing game. Agholor is now playing in the slot where many believe is his natural position. I’m probably missing something and that all sounds great. However, the proof is in the pudding.

I’m all for Agholor improving, and I hope that he does, but acting as if a guy who’s been the worst receiver for two years straight is going to have a great season because of minicamp is asinine in my eyes.

Anyone can look good in shorts, but once the pads come on and the spotlight is on them for a game, that’s where you find out someone’s true colors. And Agholor’s true colors have shown enough for me to think anything more than 50 receptions for 450 yards and three scores is craziness to expect.

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I hope I’m wrong, but I’m just realistic. Eagles fans always want their team to do great, and that’s awesome, but the expectations for Agholor need to be realistic. And anything more than what I said isn’t realistic — it’s wishful thinking and would be a borderline miracle.