During Monday night’s episode of the Dear Pats Nation podcast, Producer Mike and I were discussing New England Patriots’ wide receiver N’Keal Harry, and I was shocked to learn that PFF graded Harry higher than Nelson Agholor. It’s not a shock to anybody that Agholor’s first season with the Patriots didn’t go as planned, and Agholor didn’t make the impact that a lot of Pats Nation was expecting, but things actually went worse than we all thought, and maybe I have to agree with all the naysayers that are upset about Bill Belichick overpaying Agholor last offseason.
Let’s start by looking at the numbers. PFF ranked Agholor 79th overall, twenty-spots worse than N’Keal Harry. Agholors total grade for 2021 was 65.9. PFF gave Agholor a 64.9 receiving grade and a 63.0 rushing.
The combination of Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer only targeted Agholor 59-times, which was 69th across all receivers. Agholor only hauled in 37 of those passes which left him tied for 73rd, and his 70th best 473-receiving yards was less than desired. Going into the 2022 season, Jones needs legitimate red zone receivers and deep threats. Agholors three touchdowns in 2021 isn’t going to cut it.
So, with all the negativity on the table, should Patriots’ fans expect Agholor to turn things around, or should Belichick maybe explore a trade partner and just cut his losses?
This is the part that’s confusing to me, Agholor had a reputation for having brick hands, but in 2021 drops weren't an issue, in fact Agholor only dropped one ball. Agholor’s issue was not really being ingrained in New England’s game plan. I don’t know if that’s because Belichick and Josh McDaniels were protecting Mac Jones, or is Agholor just not a fit for the Patriots.
Honestly, there are a lot of unanswered questions about Agholor, it’s really going to be one of the more interesting storylines to follow.