NFP Prospect Focus: Nelson Agholor and Stefon Diggs
In the 2014 NFL Draft, the wide receiver class was the deepest in recent memory. I had nine players with first round grades, which meant that a club who wanted a receiver was going to get a top talent in the second and maybe even third round. This year’s receiver class isn’t as deep, but there are still are some quality players.Two underclassmen who recently announced they would be entering the draft are Nelson Agholor form USC and Stefon Diggs form Maryland.
Nelson Agholor – Wide Receiver - USC
Agholor is a third-year junior. He played as a backup his true freshman year but has been a starter the last two seasons. He has gotten more productive each year and showed dominating ability this past season. In 2013, he had 56 receptions for 918 yards and six touchdowns. In 2014, his production increased to 104 receptions for 1313 yards and 12 TDs. He has also shown to return ability with 39 punt returns for 540 yards and four touchdowns over the last two seasons. As a kickoff returner he has 19 returns for 443 yards. Coming out of high school, Agholor was a 5-star recruit and was offered by every premier program in the country.
While Agholor is listed as being 6010 – 190, he looks bigger. He has a lot of length and is well built. He is an excellent athlete with great body control. He has smooth change of direction and very good speed. He will probably run in the mid to high 4.4’s at the Combine. He is a very good route runner who can make sharp cuts with a quick burst to gain separation. He does a good job using change of pace to set up a defender. He is equally effective as a long and short receiver and has excellent ability to adjust to the ball to go along with exceptional hands. He tracks the ball very well, can consistently high-point the ball, and can make the circus catch. He consistently competes for the ball in traffic and his run-after-catch skills are excellent. He can consistently turn the short catch into a long gain.
I can see Agholor being drafted very high (assuming he runs well) and he will start early in his career. I can see him becoming a team’s number one receiver in short order. He also has the return skills to be a club's top punt returner.
Stefon Diggs – Wide receiver – Maryland
Diggs is a third-year junior, and like Agholor, he was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school and had his pick of the best programs in the country. He is from the Baltimore area and chose to stay home and attend Maryland. He made an impact right away as a freshman with 54 receptions for 848 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned kickoffs and punts as a freshman and had two kickoff returns for TD’s. In 2013 he got off to a great start with 34 receptions for 587 yards and three touchdowns before missing the final six games with a leg injury. In 2014, he again missed three games but still caught 62 passes for 792 yards and five touchdowns. While he didn’t return punts, he had 20 kickoff returns for 478 yards.
Diggs is listed as being 6000 – 190. While he looks 190, he seems a little shorter than 6’0”. Still, he is well built and strong. He is a quick athlete with very good body control. He has quick change of direction with a burst. I don’t see a burner, but he has good play speed. I would estimate he will run in the 4.50 range.
Diggs lines up all over and is a good route runner. He is a nimble cutter who can get in and out of his cuts instananeously. He is a good, but not great, route runner. He gets separation because of his quickness.
He has good hands and can make the acrobatic catch. He adjusts to the ball very well but will body catch some. After the catch, he is a very good runner who is quick and elusive but not powerful. He will compete for the ball in traffic and shows good toughness.
Overall, I see Diggs as more of a slot receiver, but he can line up outside. I don’t see him as being as good or as explosive as say a Brandin Cooks (New Orleans), but he has the talent to play early in his career. He is more of a mid-second round player depending on how he runs. While he has return skills, I don’t see him having the return skills to be a club's top returner. He would be a serviceable backup in that area.
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