One of the guys that’s been making a lot of waves in Training Camp has been former first-round pick Nelson Agholor.
Agholor has drawn rave reviews from coaches, teammates, and anyone that’s witnessed him in action, with the common theme being that he seems to be “a different player”, and “playing with confidence”.
Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network even went as far as to say that he expects Agholor to take over Jordan Matthews’ role in the slot, saying that he’ll be “shocked” if Agholor isn’t the guy.
Can we pump the brakes on this Agholor nonsense a little bit?
Agholor has had what amounts to a couple good weeks worth of practice, and suddenly everyone’s ready to forget about the two miserable years his career has produced so far? How soon we forget.
Right now, Agholor is having success in very low-pressure situations, often times working against thin air or the assortment of garbage that the Eagles will be trying to cobble into a starting cornerbacks in the coming season. Success in August is one thing. Success in September and beyond is a whole other animal.
When Nelson Agholor starts to make plays in regular season games against quality defenders, I’ll start to entertain the idea that he might not be a lost cause. But this is a guy that early in his career has been so mentally fragile, that he could be one drop away from completely regressing to the state he was in last season.
Should The Eagles Trade Jordan Matthews?
A topic that’s been batted around here and there ever since the Eagles signed Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith is whether or not the Birds might consider trying to get something for former second-round pick Jordan Matthews, who is set to be a free agent after the season.
With the “rebirth” of Nelson Agholor, and the emergence of Marcus Johnson in camp, the idea of trading Matthews has picked up a little more steam as of late.
If the Eagles had any kind of significant offer on the table for Matthews, I’d move him in a heartbeat. Not because I feel confident in Agholor taking over the slot role (I don’t), but for the simple reason that I don’t see a long-term future for Matthews on this team, and also I just don’t think he’s a good receiver.
Jordan Matthews has been the Eagles’ best wide receiver the last two years. That’s not saying much of anything. Basically, that’s saying he’s been the least offensive of some of the most infuriating wideouts that the franchise has endured since Charles Johnson and Torrance Small.
The other thing about Matthews is that he’s a strange fit on any offense. He’s not fast enough to play on the outside, but he doesn’t really have the hands of a prototypical slot receiver. The guy in the slot is the guy who should supposedly have the best hands on the team. Think Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Cole Beasley, Jason Avant types. Sure-handed guys that can make a tough catch and move the chains. And Jordan Matthews just doesn’t have the hands to be that guy.
Some of Matthews’ drops are just the stuff of legend. I think back to the play against the Bears where Matthews dropped an easy touchdown before the half from Wentz that cost the Eagles a chance for points. Or in the game against the Falcons where Matthews was wide open by 15 yards, and bobbled away a pass that would have put the Eagles close to field goal range.
Matthews isn’t a god-awful receiver. But he’s nothing special. And there’s little reason to think that he’s going to be a part of this team’s future after this season, so if there’s a deal to be made for Matthews that could bring the Eagles a decent draft pick, or perhaps a starting corner, I think its a move they’ve got to make.
I Don’t Think Patrick Robinson Makes This Team
Speaking of the Eagles’ cornerbacks, their situation is shaping up to be extremely concerning.
Patrick Robinson seems to be getting beat left and right by any and all comers in camp, and the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up losing his roster spot before the season. If Robinson isn’t good enough to start, there’s not much sense to him being on this team.
So who starts next to Jalen Mills? Is Jalen Mills even good enough to be starting? The Eagles better hope so. I don’t get the sense the team wants to rush third-rounder Rasul Douglas into action, and would probably rather make sacrificial lambs out of Mills and a guy like C.J. Smith rather than throw Douglas to the wolves and have him eaten alive.
I think the Eagles absolutely will make some kind of move to bring additional help in sometime over the next few weeks. Kyle Fuller of Chicago has been rumored to be available for sometime now, he may or may not be the guy, but I’d absolutely expect Howie Roseman to bring in some help to this position.
- Fifth-rounder Shelton Gibson has to be one of the most disappointing guys in camp. He just can’t seem to stop dropping passes. This may be a blessing in disguise, as it makes Gibson a much more viable candidate for the practice squad, but this was a guy that the Eagles probably had expectations of making the roster this year.
- Derek Barnett and Tim Jernigan both have drawn rave reviews early on. The defensive line has a chance to be very good this year, but I hope Jim Schwartz uses a lot more creativity to generate pressure rather than relying on the wide nine to do it all the time.
- Alshon Jeffrey missed most of last week with a shoulder injury. Holding him out may have just been precautionary, but one of the knocks on Jeffrey has been that he’s been prone to nagging injuries like that. Also, I wonder about resting a new wide receiver so frequently in his first training camp with a new quarterback, where it would seem pretty important to build up as much timing and chemistry as possible.
- I think Torrey Smith is going to really surprise people this year. You can’t stress enough the god-awful situation he was in out in San Francisco.
- I can’t say enough about how odd I find it that Jason Kelce is still this team’s starting center. Between signing Chance Warmack, and resigning Stefan Wisniewski, every indication was that the team was getting ready to move on from the veteran center Kelce, who really hasn’t played well since 2013. I was convinced that Warmack would be the team’s left guard, with Isaac Seumalo at the center spot, and Wisniewski as the first guy off of the bench. Yet, lo and behold, Kelce seems to be the guy for at least another year. I wonder if he won’t be on a short leash though. Kelce’s size has really been an issue in short-yardage situations the last few years, and he’s fired way too many snaps over his quarterback’s heads over the last few years.