Rangy Carlton Agudosi Opening Eyes at Eagles Camp
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Thursday's training camp practice was a heavy red-zone day for the Eagles and that played into the hands of some of the rangier receivers on the field.
If wideouts like Alshon Jeffery or J.J. Arcega-Whiteside got noticed in that type of environment it's no surprise and if tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert draw some applause it's even less shocking but Carlton Agudosi?
The 6-foot-6 Rutgers product who has already spent some time in Arizona under the learning tree of future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald, has been turning some heads at the NovaCare Complex and it's not just about his frame.
Agudosi snared three touchdowns on contested catches Thursday and impressed enough to where the head coach brought his hame up first when asked about unheralded players who have stood out through the first seven practices of the summer.
"I think Agudosi is a kid that's showed up a little bit here from a receiver standpoint," Doug Pederson explained.
Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld found Agudosi, 25, in the back of the end zone two different times with the imposing wideout rising up over 5-11 cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon on both occasions. Veteran Cody Kessler also dipped into the Agudosi well with rookie cornerback Jay Liggins in coverage.
"I guess I had a pretty good practice," Agudosi understated. "But you have to take it for what it is. It's one day. I have to keep working hard and just keep focusing on each play."
Especially those 50/50 balls.
"I really enjoy it," Agudosi said of going after contested catches. "I really feel like it's going to be a PI or a touchdown. I have a lot of confidence in that play."
A North Jersey native, Agudosi got his first taste of the NFL out in the desert back in 2017 as an undrafted free agent and was even promoted to the Cardinals' active roster for three games although he never played.
"I learned a lot from Larry," Agudosi said. "He's one of the greatest receivers in history, so if you don't take advantage of that, you don't belong in the league."
By January of this year, Agudosi got a tryout in Seattle but the phone call never came and the Eagles were the ones who ultimately took a flyer with a futures deal after a workout. Agudosi was back on the East Coast and thrilled about it.
"The Eagles are football heaven," Agudosi beamed. "They give you everything you need to succeed."
That's important to Agudosi because his football journey has been marred by uncertainty. Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh and position coach Carson Walch are the eighth change in eight years at those all-important teaching positions for Agudosi dating back to Franklin High School. Pederson is his fifth head coach over that time frame.
"I've played in every type of offense you can imagine," Agudosi said.
His strengths are obvious, a wingspan that rivals a 7-footer on the basketball floor and the ability to rise up over even the biggest defensive backs. But, size isn't everything and sometimes it can even work against a receiver especially when it comes to change of direction and becoming a well-rounded route runner.
"He's tall so he has to learn to play with his pad level down," Pederson explained. "Corners, DBs can really get their hands on a tall frame. He's really working hard on that and bending; pretty flexible for a big guy, and it's carrying over into the team reps."
Agudosi understands the issue as well.
"You have a tendency to get high as a tall receiver so even when you think your low, your probably not low so lower is something I try to keep in my head," Agudosi said. "It starts with my stance. ... I focus on starting low and staying low."
The Eagles are so deep at receiver the 53-man roster is probably not in Agudosi's future come September but a slot on the practice squad could lead to bigger things down the road.
"You never know what's gonna happen," Agudosi said. "I'm taking advantage. Whether it's one game or one play, I'm going to take advantage and just embrace it because it can get taken away from you."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen