Scouting Report: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
Nelson Agholor is a riser this draft season. It seems like every time I look up, he’s higher on the boards on the big sites. As a natural contrarian, this makes me suspicious, but when I watch this kid’s film, I understand completely. This is a player who does very little wrong. With Robert Woods and Marqise Lee both gone to the NFL, 2014 was Agholor’s year to shine and he took full advantage. with 1,313 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Agholor scored two more times on punt returns bringing his 2014 grand total to 14 touchdowns.
What do you get with Nelson Agholor? You get a fundamentally sound player with a skill set that goes beyond the position he’s listed at. In addition to being a very good, very complete receiver, Agholor is an outstanding return man. It’s all over his game film, so check it out. This kid brings high-end punt returning chops to the next level and NFL teams like that. Agholor was also a high school running back who switched to receiver in college and you see traces of his RB days when he returns kicks or gets into the open field. He’s always a threat to make the big play and the USC standout attributes his big play ability to being an ex running back.
At the combine, Agholor mentioned both Antonio Brown and Randall Cobb as players who have the running back ability and mentality.
“Antonio Brown is a guy with a running back-type mentality when he catches the ball.”
“Green Bay has a guy like Randall Cobb in the backfield, running the out routes and the swings. He’s always the hot read in many situations. That’s part of my game I want to have. I think it’s very important to who you are, and it increases your value. You’re an every-down receiver. They talk about every-down backs, there are some receivers you can’t keep in the game all downs. I want to be the guy you never sub out. I want to be the guy you can run behind. I’m the guy you throw on first down, the guy you go deep to. Doesn’t matter. Or the guy you put in the backfield to get exotic.”
It’s hard to not like this kid. I think NFL teams walked away from Indianapolis with his name circled and checked. He showed well both in terms of smarts and measurables.
- Height - 6’0”
- Weight - 198
- Hand - 9.25”
- Bench - 12
- 40 - 4.42
At USC’s pro day, Agholor added a 36.5 inch vertical leap and a 10.5 foot broad jump to the mix.
- Speed - He runs well on film for sure and he posted a very nice 4.42 at the combine.
- Agility - Agholor’s very dangerous in the open field and he’ll surprise you in tight space at times because he has explosive lateral ability. He’s sudden with his cuts and rarely tips off his moves.
- Routes - He stands out here. Agholor runs crisp fluid routes and he works back to the quarterback very well.
- Hands - He has some drops on film, but we like the way he catches the ball on the whole. He’s a pure hands guy who will use his body at the appropriate times.
- Big play ability - His running back roots help him here because Agholor is very dangerous as a deep threat and in the open field as I mentioned earlier. He has good vision and makes sudden cuts, so he’s a threat to break a big gainer at all times.
- Blocking - As Agholor said in Indianapolis, he wants to be a player who plays every down and his effort in the blocking game backs up that claim. He’s get pushed around at times, but he’s always in someone’s face and that’s half the game.
- Versatility - Inside or outside, catching or blocking, on special teams or from scrimmage, Agholor can help a team in many ways.
- Production - The numbers are very good and he got better every year at USC which is always a plus.
Nelson has a sweet highlight reel that shows off most of his game.
You get plenty of looks at Agholor as a receiver in this game. Just don’t think he did this every week. It was his best statistical game by as solid margin.
He’s getting compared to some pretty big names and I can see why, but until he proves that he’s durable enough to take the pounding at the next level, it would be foolish to value him as the next Randall Cobb or Antonio Brown. Even if he is on par with those two, he’s unlikely to get a hall of fame quarterback to work with. Cobb and Brown are both highly fortunate in that regard and you need to factor their good fortune into the Agholor equation.
Have no doubt, Agholor is a player we really like. On a typical year, I would have a second round grade on him, but it sounds like he could sneak into the first round, which is about the lack of elite talent at other positions.
Agholor has the potential to be a very good and consistent producer for fantasy purposes, but his location is going to matter for both the near term and the long term. I’d love to see him in an offense like San Diego’s. This kid could absolutely crush it playing the role they had Eddie Royal in the last two seasons. He’d be a weekly fantasy option in that scenario.
I’ll update Agholor’s value in our post-draft rookie rankings.
More 2015 Scouting Reports:
- Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
- Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
- Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
- Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
- Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
- Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
- TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama
- Post Draft Rookie RB Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft TE Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft QB Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft RB Rankings
- 2017 Pre-Draft WR Rankings
- 2017 Pre Combine Rankings
- Postseason Cheatsheets
- Tight End Rankings Week 17
- Wide Receiver Rankings Week 17
- Running Back Rankings Week 17