The headline might seem hyperbolic but evidence suggests otherwise: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor is THE worst player at his position in the NFL so far this season.
Pro Football Focus has Agholor graded 124th out of 124 wide receivers who’ve played at least 25% of their team’s snaps.
Football Outsiders has Agholor ranked 66th out of 66 wide receivers in their Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) metric.
The numbers match up with the eye test. From dropping multiple game-winning touchdown passes, to failing to track the ball in the air on a weekly basis ... Agholor has been an abject disaster.
When this is released Agholor is at the 15-yard line. He has nearly 30 yards to take his path, which begins at the opposite hash. The DB doesn't touch it. It's not over/under thrown.— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) November 18, 2019
This does not require a special catch. It only looks like it does due to abysmal tracking. pic.twitter.com/CyeAZ3fYxZ
It’s not like 2019 is merely one down year for Agholor, either. When the sample size is increased, it’s clear that his good 2017 season was an outlier.
2019: 124th out of 124
2018: 74th out of 108
2017: 35th out of 107
2016: 103rd out of 104
2015: 101st out of 101
2019: 66th out of 66
2018: 78th out of 84
2017: 32nd out of 86
2016: 88th out of 94
2015: 83rd out of 88
Time has indeed told.
So, since the Eagles can’t go back in time and decide to not make Agholor the 26th highest paid receiver in terms of annual value this year, what do they do now? Bench him? Cut him?
As much as a relief as it would be to never have to watch him play for the Eagles again, I don’t see the Eagles cutting Agholor. That wouldn’t go over so well in the locker room given Agholor’s reputation as one of the team’s hardest workers. Releasing Agholor would also mean forfeiting any chance of him counting towards the team’s compensatory pick formula this offseason.
How about a benching? It certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented. The Eagles made Agholor a healthy scratch after 10 games back in 2016. His stats at the time:
51 targets, 27 recs, 264 yards (9.8 avg), 1 TD, 1 fumble, 4 drops
PFF rank: 119th out of 119
Football Outsiders: 88th out of 94
Now compare those with his numbers through 10 games this season:
64 targets, 36 recs, 322 yards (8.9 avg), 3 TD, 2 fumbles, 3 drops
PFF rank: 124th out of 124
Football Outsiders: 66th out of 66
Not that different, huh?
Of course, the problem with benching Agholor is that the Eagles don’t, uh, exactly have many options at receiver. Alshon Jeffery missed Week 11 with an ankle injury and it’s unclear when he’ll return. Jordan Matthews, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Mack Hollins are the only other receivers on the 53-man roster.
Perhaps it’s time to give a chance to someone on the practice squad. Greg Ward looked good in the preseason and fits in the slot. Robert Davis flashed for Washington during the summer. They’re far from sure-fire upgrades but they at least offer theoretical upside.
It would be inaccurate to say that Agholor is giving the Eagles nothing right now. That would be an improvement for him. Agholor is actively making the team worse.
Something needs to change.
What should the Eagles do with Nelson Agholor?
This poll is closed
Stay the course and hope he plays better