Nelson Agholor officially signed with the Ravens on Wednesday. Here are five things to know about Baltimore's newest wide receiver.
Tee Martin Was Agholor's Wide Receivers Coach at USC
Joining the Ravens allows Agholor to reconnect with Ravens Quarterbacks Coach Tee Martin, who was Agholor's wide receivers coach at USC.
Agholor was primarily a running back in high school, rushing for 1,983 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior while averaging 9.5 yards per carry. Martin helped Agholor make a smooth transition from running back to wide receiver with the Trojans and he won a starting job as a freshman.
"He's a quick learner," Martin said during a 2015 interview with philadelphiaeagles.com. "He can play all around the field, in the backfield, slot, he's great on special teams.
"One of the cool things about him is that he was a high school running back. He brings a receiver skill set, but after the ball's in his hands, he turns into a running back and he's really good at run after catch. We ran him on option routes where he could find mismatches in the slot. We moved him in motion. We played had him outside. He's really good at releasing off the line of scrimmage."
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken is a proponent of getting the ball to playmakers in space, giving them room to operate. That could play to Agholor's strengths.
Agholor Adds Veteran Presence to Wide Receiver Group
At 29 years old, Agholor's experience should be a valuable resource for young Ravens receivers Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay. Like Bateman, Agholor is a former first-round draft choice (20th overall, 2015), and he has learned how to cope highs and lows during his career.
Former teammates describe Agholor as a natural leader. At USC, Agholor was a role model for veteran NFL receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is three years younger. Agholor spends hours each week watching film to prepare for games, and that habit has been known to rub off on teammates.
"He invites me over to his house, he has a big projector and we just go over stuff like that," Smith-Schuster said via the Los Angeles Times when they were college teammates. "He's like my mentor."
Nigeria Was His Birthplace
Agholor is well-traveled. A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Agholor was 5 years old when his family moved to the United States. He grew up in Tampa, then moved to the West coast and became a star receiver at USC.
Wherever he has played, Agholor has tried to impact the community, especially kids.
"I'm going to another place just like these kids are," Agholor said via USA Today when he played in Philadelphia. "I want them to embrace that. I want them to be dreamers because I think that's the most important thing.
"When I go and read to kids, I try to teach them who they are. To not allow naysayers or negative situations to find them. Through all of that, there are still ways to be special."
The Ravens have two other Nigerian players in Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo.
Durability Has Been a Strength
Agholor has played at least 15 games in six of his eight NFL seasons, and he has never played fewer than 11 games. He has always kept himself in excellent shape, another reason the Ravens believe he still has upside at age 30.
Algholor also knows what it feels like to win a Super Bowl. He was a member of the Eagles' Super-Bowl winning team in 2017, and he made significant contributions. During that season he caught 62 passes for 736 yards and tied his career-high with eight touchdowns. In three playoff games, Agholor caught 15 passes for 167 yards, including nine catches for 84 yards in the Super Bowl victory over New England.
Raiders Head Coach Josh McDaniels Respects Agholor's Talents
Raiders Head Coach Josh McDaniels, a former Patriots former offensive coordinator, worked with Agholor for one season in New England (2021). He caught 37 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns that year, but McDaniels said Agholor's contributions went beyond his stats.
"Big heart, fast, explosive – he made some really big plays for us that year," McDaniels said at the NFL Owners Meetings. He's a good kid. He'll be a good addition to their group."