Watch CBS News

Durkin's Prospect Watch: WR Nelson Agholor

By Dan Durkin--

(CBS) The 2015 wide receiver draft class is loaded with talent. The Bears may have an opportunity to draft one of the best with their first selection, but if they elect to go a different route, there will be quality talent available to them at the top of the second round.

Today we take a look at a prospect who won't only contribute as a receiver but is also a standout returner as well: USC's Nelson Agholor.

WR Nelson Agholor (6-foot, 198 pounds, 21, USC)

40-yard dash: 4.42
Vertical: 36 1/2"
Bench: 12
Arm: 32 1/4"

Bio: Agholor arrived in Los Angeles as a highly decorated, All-American running back from Berkeley Prep High in Tampa, Fla. He also played wide receiver, cornerback and safety.

Agholor contributed to the Trojans as a true freshman in 2012 as both a receiver and kick returner. He played in 13 games, starting three, finishing with 19 receptions for an 18.3 yards-per-reception average and two touchdowns. He also averaged 24 yards per kickoff return. In 2013, he became a full-time starter at receiver and returned both kicks and punts. He finished the season with 918 receiving yards and six touchdowns and also returned two punts for touchdowns, earning second-team All-Pac 12 honors as a returner and honorable mention honors as a receiver. He broke out in his junior season in 2014, finishing with 104 receptions for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning first-team All-Pac 12 and third-team All-American honors.

In total, Agholor appeared  in 40 games, making 30 starts, netting 2,572 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. His four punt return touchdowns are a school record. He decided to forgo his senior season and enters the draft as a 21-year old true junior.

Pro outlook: Agholor's an angular, smooth athlete with excellent body control and change-of-direction abilities. He has long arms, is a natural hands catcher and is willing to fight for the ball in traffic on short and intermediate routes. On deep passes, he tracks the ball well and easily adjusts his stride to accelerate through the catch.

Agholor's running back past translates well to his after-the-catch abilities. He's a decisive open field runner who has excellent vision to separate and turn short passes into longer gains. Agholor's a smooth runner who displays excellent balance and coordinated feet to set up defenders and get into and out of his breaks without sacrificing speed. He's able to get back up to his highest gear in a matter of two steps. His double moves on posts and corner routes were crisp and frequently left cornerbacks steps behind him.

Agholor will need to gain some upper-body strength as he transitions to the NFL. Strong jams at the line of scrimmage disrupted his release, and he must develop as a hand fighter, as he can't solely rely on his feet to win press matchups. He needs to play with more physicality in the run game as well in order to drive corners who are the force defenders on running plays.

Draft projection: Agholor will contribute immediately to a team's passing attack and return units as a rookie. He projects as a high second-round prospect.

Dan Durkin covers the Bears for and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.