The New England Patriots are notorious for their lack of star power at the receiver position. Except for the few seasons with Randy Moss, they relied on undrafted players and homegrown talent to catch passes from the GOAT. Brady made it work, but that was then; this is now.
Last season, Cam Newton struggled to complete passes. He threw for under 3000 yards and ten touchdowns. He played so poorly, Patriots fans have called for a change in quarterbacks.
It is easy to point the finger at him, but it’s not entirely his fault. The Patriots lacked a significant amount of talent and star power at the wide receiver position. Jakobi Myers led the team in targets and receiving yards; that is embarrassing.
Belichick’s frivolous first day of free agency brought two immediate upgrades to WR. However, one of the two new pass catchers has already begun to make a name for himself at training camp.
Nelson Agholor has caught the eye of many in the first few days of camp. He has impressed the coaching staff with his playmaking ability, even showing off on two highlight-reel touchdown passes by both Newton and Jones.
Agholor played like a completely different WR in Las Vegas. He notched career highs in receiving yards (896) and touchdowns (six). In addition, he established himself as a reliable deep threat with his 18.7 yards/reception. It seemed as if every deep ball Carr threw to Agholor.
Agholor fits Belichick’s system. He provides consistency as a serious threat, forcing defenders to play towards him and away from other receivers. Cam or Mac’s job, Agholor adds a much-needed deep-ball attack New England lacked in 2020.
How does Agholor help the offense as a whole?
The Patriots’ offense struggled to make noise a season ago. However, the rushing attack kept them afloat with the production from Damien Harris and James White. It’s great to see Damien Harris finally produce, but it becomes predictable after a while.
Agholor’s deep threat ability becomes a focus for opposing defenses, which allows the offense to become balanced. The Patriots can win the division if they have a well-run, explosive, balanced offense. This makes it possible for Cam Newton to return to his 2015 MVP form.
The Patriots have already seen an improvement from last season. Agholor has been a massive part of the improvement with his eye-grabbing play in camp. Belichick signed Agholor to be better than he was in Las Vegas. In a few short weeks, fans will see it for themselves; he’s ready for the jump.