Mac Jones has high praise for Nelson Agholor after Patriots-Panthers practice

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Mac Jones has high praise for Agholor after Patriots-Panthers practice originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

FOXBORO -- One of the most impressive plays of Wednesday's joint practice between the Patriots and Panthers happened during an 11-on-11 drill in the second half of the session.

The Patriots were inside the 20-yard line and quarterback Mac Jones took a chance in the corner of the end zone. He threw a fade to wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who made a great adjustment in the air to grab the ball between two Panthers defenders with a third in the area.

It was a highlight-reel reception with a high degree of difficulty.

Agholor and the Patriots players -- both on the field and the sideline -- went crazy celebrating the touchdown. The play happened right in front of the fans, too, and they gave Agholor quite an applause.

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Agholor was busy Wednesday. He essentially was the No. 3 wide receiver as Kendrick Bourne played a lesser role after being kicked out of Tuesday's practice for his part in a large fight between the two teams.

In addition to his crazy touchdown catch, Agholor had four catches and two touchdowns in 7-on-7s. He won both of his matchups in 1-on-1s. He also featured in Jones' two-minute drill period near the end of practice with two receptions for about 15 yards when no one else could get open.

Jones had nothing but praise for Agholor after the session concluded.

"I love Nelson. He's obviously very quick and very fast. He loves football," Jones said. "I don't know if I've seen a receiver who understands football as well as he does, in terms of just general knowledge. He's almost like a quarterback out there.

"All of our guys have worked really hard. We put in a lot of work together in the offseason. He was at all the throwing sessions, and that's what we're trying to grow from. Remember that one time we were throwing it, I told you to do this, let's try it next play. We've all done that together as a group. He's definitely done a good job. We just have to keep consistency up with all those guys. They all bring a different trait to the table."

I don't know if I've seen a receiver who understands football as well as he does, in terms of just general knowledge. He's almost like a quarterback out there.

Mac Jones on Nelson Agholor's football IQ

Agholor came to the Patriots as a free agent signing last offseason. He was supposed to be a wideout who could stretch the field vertically.

That didn't really materialize in 2021, at least not on a consistent basis. The 29-year-old veteran tallied just 37 receptions for 473 yards and three touchdowns in 15 games in his debut season with the Patriots.

Agholor clearly looks a little more comfortable in the offense in training camp, and his performance so far -- and especially Wednesday -- suggests he's ready to make a larger impact in the passing attack this coming season.