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Nelson Agholor: Patrick Peterson's coverage a 'tribute'


Eagles first-round pick Nelson Agholor looked like a pre-season rookie of the year favorite as one of Mark Sanchez's favorite targets. Chip Kelly and the Eagles steamrolled just about anyone in their path when the games didn't count.

Fast-forward to the end of the season and the Eagles are the Eagles. Agholor, fresh off a matchup against Patrick Peterson where he played 57 snaps and was targeted once (with no catch), has 19 receptions for 225 yards and a touchdown on the year.

"It's actually a tribute that I had a guy like Patrick Peterson following me around all game," Agholor said, via CSN Philly. "It tells you the guy respects your game and he's going to come ready to go. What I gotta do is I gotta present that. If he respects me, I have to show him why he respects me and play harder and make plays."

Immediately, the inclination is to hoist this up as another indictment on Kelly's inability to draft and develop talent. His 2013 draft, which included some mainstays like Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz, may have been one of the best out of any team that year given the shallow talent pool. But 2014 first-round pick Marcus Smith has played only 95 snaps this season and was selected during one of the best wide receiver runs in recent draft history. Agholor, quite possibly the most athletic wideout in the 2015 draft, does not appear to be fitting in with the offense and was shelved behind some questionable veteran talent earlier this season.

The fascinating part about all of this, though, is that it probably won't change any time soon. By the time it is all said and done, Kelly will have completely transformed an NFL roster from top to bottom in his vision and in a dramatic way. For some owners, it has made them look at the general manager position in a different way; more of a safeguard against the house completely collapsing. Kelly, no matter how many times he denies it, is also the general manager.

Which brings us back to Agholor. Plenty of good general managers bust two years in a row in the draft. Some general managers bust twice in the first round if they are lucky enough to have two picks, and some do that two years in a row. Kelly elicits this kind of criticism because he is terse and very smart and not of the NFL family.

But does that mean there is reason for hope? With Kelly, the decision is always going to be how far you let him go and how long you decide to trust his instincts.


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