For all the players who have disappointed this season for the Las Vegas Raiders, there’s been one guy who’s blown past expectations. Nelson Agholor had a very tough time with the Philadelphia Eagles. They have arguably the least forgiving fan base in the country and once Agholor started dropping passes, he was maligned by the fan base.
When the Raiders picked him up, not much was thought about it. They drafted two wide receivers and named the two rookies as starters in Week 1. With the season almost over, Agholor has been the team’s best wide receiver and it’s not even close. He’s accumulated 839 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He has over 200 more receiving yards than Hunter Renfrow, who has 632 yards.
What’s been most impressive about Agholor’s game is that he’s been averaging 17.9 yards per reception, which is tied for third-best in the NFL. Quarterback Derek Carr believes that Agholor always had the skill but needed a change.
“Sometimes a change of scenery is good for somebody. Sometimes a change of scenery doesn’t mean the player has changed, just means he fits better in that system or he fits better in that scheme or it just works out better for him,” Carr said. “Obviously this is a career year for him. I am so thankful for him. I tell him all the time I love that man so much. I’m so happy for him. He bet on himself, you know? He came here, bet on himself and it’s really worked out for him. I’m happy for him.”
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Raiders Need to Re-Sign Agholor
If Agholor can play this well with a limited offseason, imagine how well he would play after a full year in Jon Gruden’s system. He’s set to hit free agency this offseason and he needs to be a priority for the Raiders. Free-agent wide receivers sometimes get big paydays in a weak market.
This year’s free-agent class of wide receivers won’t be great. Many teams could look at what Agholor did with the Raiders this season and offer him a big contract. Now, the wide receiver hasn’t done enough this year to get paid like one of the top-10 receivers in the league but he’s probably going to get $10+ million a year. If the Raiders move off of Tyrell Williams’ contract, they could give that money to Agholor who has done more in one season with the team than Williams has done in two years.
Raiders Could Have Solid WR Corps Next Season
Outside of Agholor and Renfrow, the Raiders haven’t gotten much from their wide receivers. Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards have been wildly disappointing. However, the two rookies have battled injuries in the season and didn’t get much of an offseason to learn. Plus, rookie wide receivers don’t always play well at first.
Despite the disappointing year, both men should improve next year. Ruggs was the first wide receiver taken in the draft for a reason. The Raiders need to do a better job of getting him involved. He could still have a big career ahead of him. There are some who suggested that Edwards was one of the best wide receivers in the draft but injuries made him drop. He’ll be healthy next season and his massive frame should help the team’s red-zone woes.