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August 05, 2017

Jeremiah: Nelson Agholor is going to be the Eagles' slot receiver

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah was once a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010 to 2012. In fact, Howie Roseman tried to hire him to be the personnel chief before eventually landing Joe Douglas. Jeremiah has a lot of friends in the Eagles' front office, and so, that makes him worth listening to when he discusses the team.

Jeremiah visited Eagles training camp earlier this week, and he shared extensive thoughts on the team on his Move the Sticks podcast.

The most noteworthy statement Jeremiah made was when he said with extreme confidence that Nelson Agholor is going to be the Eagles' slot receiver this year.

"Nelson Agholor has had a total rebirth," he said. "He’s in the slot. He’s going to live in the slot. He’s going to be their slot receiver. I’ll be shocked if he’s not. I don’t know what that means for Jordan Matthews.

"Agholor is a lot more dynamic. Last year against the Seahawks he just turned Richard Sherman inside out, but he dropped the ball. Getting separation was not his issue last year. Just being able to finish, and he was doing a nice job, and it sounds like he’s really focused.

"To me, the interesting thing is when you have a guy like last year with Nelson Agholor, you’re trying to force him to be a No. 2 receiver. You really don’t even have a 1. Maybe he’s trying to be the lead guy. Now you come in and say, ‘Look, you’re No. 3.' It just puts everyone in the right pecking order and releases some of that pressure on these guys."

We have said all offseason that a trade of Matthews makes all the sense in the world, and that was before Agholor really stepped up his game in training camp, potentially giving the Eagles a viable replacement in the slot.

Here's Jeremiah's breakdown of the rest of the team:

• "I gotta tell you, the ball barely hit the ground there with Carson Wentz. Totally dialed in."

• "Alshon Jeffery was contorting his body and making the same crazy catches he always does. I know people are worried about his shoulder. He’s missed three or four practices. Look – They’re putting him on ice. They know. They saw plenty. You don’t need to see a whole lot of him in the preseason. So don’t freak out if you’re in fantasy football or if you’re a fan of the Eagles. He’s going to be just fine."

• "They told me all throughout the offseason that (Torrey Smith) barely dropped the football. He caught it really well the day I was there. He got on top of coverage repeatedly, tracked the ball easily, didn’t have any drops."

• "Mack Hollins, a rookie there, could be a Pro Bowler on special teams. I think he could be kind of like Kassim Osgood was, but be a better receiver than Kassim was."

• "Shelton Gibson, their fifth round pick, he has struggled to catch the ball throughout camp." 

• "Greg Ward was my sleeper. Former quarterback from Houston. They used him in the slot some. This is one of those ones where it’s going to be a tough decision for them. He could show out in the preseason, and you might have difficulty sneaking him (on the practice squad)." 

• "Another guy who I was not familiar with at all, and I was asking around, ‘Who the heck is No. 84?’ Marcus Johnson, who is from Texas, who had had some injuries, this is his second year for him. He was outstanding."

• "This team last year receiver-wise to where they are this year, they’re going to end up trading or cutting some really good players."

• "Zach Ertz, another member of this offense, and the offensive line looks good. I think they’re going to score a bunch of points." 

• "The flip side is that corner is a legitimate concern for this football team."

• "Now the question to me is on the defensive side of the ball. Can this defensive front, that’s very gifted, can they get home before they get exposed on the outside? They’re good at safety, with Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. That’s a solid duo right there. At the corner position, man they got turned inside out the days I was there."

• "Jalen Mills I think is OK. Sidney Jones is obviously the long term answer but I don’t know when we’ll see him, or if we’ll see him this year coming off the Achilles. Rasul Douglas was a roller coaster, up and down as you’d expect with a rookie."

• "The day I was there, Timmy Jernigan outplayed Fletcher Cox. The buzz is legit. We’ll see if he carry it over, stay healthy, and have a great year. Derek Barnett, solid. I don’t know how much he’s going to have to do. I would imagine we’ll just see him in sub-packages, get out there and rush a little bit. Chris Long looks like he has a little bit left. This looks like a really really good front that they have there." 

• "At linebacker, they’re OK. But this team will go as far as these corners develop and take them."

• "I think you could make a case that they’re in the top three in both (the offensive line and defensive line)."

Sooooo, yeah, a lot to take in there.

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