Raiders show belief in often-criticized WR Nelson Agholor

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Raiders show belief in often-criticized WR Nelson Agholor

Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock hopes wide receiver Nelson Agholor will be a vital part of the team's offense this season. Agholor, the 20th overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft, changed teams for the first time in his career this offseason when he left the Philadelphia Eagles and signed with the Raiders.

The split between Agholor and the Eagles didn't come as a surprise as the former No. 20 pick averaged a career-low 9.3 yards per catch last season. Agholor finished the season with just 21 catches made for 195 yards. "Nelson Agholor is on a mission," Mayock said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group.

"I had a pretty good grade on (Agholor) coming out of USC. I think I know what he is and I think we're seeing the best of that version of Nellie in camp."

Raiders coach shows belief in Agholor

Agholor received lots of criticism in his final year with the Eagles but Raiders coach Jon Gruden believes the 27-year-old wide receiver is a good player.

"He is a good player," said Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. "You can pick up the Philadelphia Inquirer and they will probably say something different, but this guy has caught over 200 passes, he is a young guy, he has played split end, flanker and in the slot.

He caught eight or nine passes in a Super Bowl and won a Super Bowl. So he's a world champion. He's a great person ... and he can return punts. "I trust him and I think he was picked high in the draft for a reason. A change of scenery worked for Randall Cunningham, maybe it will work for him."

Meanwhile, Raiders general manager Mayock also spoke positively about their long-time quarterback Derek Carr. This offseason, the Raiders brought in Marcus Mariota to be a competition in the quarterback room for Carr. But it appears that Carr will start the season as a starter.

"I'm really pleased with the way Derek Carr has taken over this football team," Mayock told reporters, per CBS Sports. Recently, Carr said he was tired of being disrespected. "I have a lot to prove to myself," Carr said, per the team's website.

"I have a lot to prove to my organization. I'm going to be completely honest, I'm tired of being disrespected. So, there was no doubt that I was going to play this year."