Nelson Agholor was taken 20th by the Eagles in the draft for his athleticism and speed, but his character and hard work is what catches the eyes of many. These happen to be the same attributes that Jordan Matthews can brag of.
Through the first few weeks of Eagles OTA’s, onlookers, coaches and players alike agree that Agholor is doing whatever he can to prove and establish himself as a rookie.
Matthews accumulated 872 yards and eight touchdowns during his first year in the NFL, and looks to be a perfect mentor for the USC product.
“We’ve developed a great relationship,” Agholor said Tuesday of Matthews. “Rarely do you come into a situation where the guy in front of you who’s proven himself, opens his arms to you like Jordan has.”
Since being drafted in 2014, Matthews has been noticed for his extra reps before and after practice. He'll also finish plays in drills, like 7-on-7s by taking the ball all the way into the end zone regardless of defenders covering.
“It’s about being a team,” Agholor said, clearly inspired by his teammate's extra work. “I want to be one of those guys where my teammates can count on me. It’s great to see leaders of this team continuously go hard every practice, it reminds you that this is the type of team that wins games.”
Along with Matthews molding a bond with his fellow PAC-12 player, there is a clubhouse full of veteran pass-catchers to lend a hand.
“That whole room of receivers is like that,” Kelly said. “I think Miles [Austin] has really had a great effect on that room in terms of being the older professional in the league, along with [Riley Cooper]. You got a couple of young guys with Jordan and Josh [Huff] now Nelson’s thrown into the mix. It helps to have someone show you around kind of how things operate and how things work, its beneficial. A lot of our older players have done a great job acclimating the young guys.”
The well-spoken Agholor is pushing for a starting job along with Matthews, Austin, Josh Huff and Cooper. Not many would be surprised if the two young wide outs are the starting tandem for week one in Atlanta.
If Sam Bradford starts the season healthy, with the trio of Demarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles behind him, it’s hard to argue that a one-two punch of Agholor and Matthews won’t provide another season of a deadly Kelly offense.