Chip Kelly talks 1st-round pick Nelson Agholor, denies trade offers for Mariota


Welcome Nelson Agholor to Philadelphia, the first-round pick of the Eagles in the 2015 draft.

In the end, the anticipated drama, intrigue and complex trade scenarios did not come to pass for the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite reports of late inquiries with the Buccaneers and the Titans regarding the top two spots to get Marcus Mariota, Chip Kelly stayed with the 20th overall spot and selected WR Nelson Agholor from USC for their first round pick in the 2015 draft.

Wild trade offers from Kelly were reported through the start of the draft, supposedly offering first round picks as well as just about every star of the Eagles defense. Not surprisingly, he denied the reports, comparing his actions to looking at swanky houses you know you can’t afford.

We didn’t offer any players to anybody.   It was just a really steep price.  It was like driving into a nice neighborhood and looking at a house, and they tell you the price and you walk away.  We didn’t walk in the front door and take a look around.  Part of our plan, as we’ve said all along is we’re going to build this team.  We still think there is a lot of value in this draft and in future drafts.”

Agholor (6’1, 190) has drawn comparisons to former Eagle (sniffle) Jeremy Maclin. Kelly said of the pick, “He’s a great fit for what we’re doing.” Agholor has drawn praise for his athleticism, versatility, and high football IQ. Kelly continued,

He’s got excellent speed, outstanding hands, catches the ball away from his body.  Outstanding route runner, real student of the game.  We were really excited, and he was kind of what our model is.  He was the best player that was available for us that fit our system.”

Kelly’s praise continued, comparing his newest player to one of his 2014 selections at receiver, Jordan Matthews.

I guess the best way to say it is he’s just dialed in as a football player. He’s in the Jordan Matthews category in terms of his approach to the game. Always striving to be better. I think the great thing about Nelson is he has a growth mind-set, and not a fixed mindset. He’s always trying to get better.”

Mike Mayock was high on the pick for the Eagles.

“Agholor is a precise route runner. He has added value as a great returner. He reminds you of Jeremy Maclin, the guy he’s replacing. Agholor can play anywhere, outside and in the slot. The Philadelphia Eagles are going to love him.”

Agholor finished his career at USC with 179 catches for 2,571 yards and 20 TDs in 30 games, becoming just the 12th Trojan to notch 2,000 receiving yards in a career. Additionally, he had 540 yards on 37 punt returns (14.6 average) and set a school record with four punt return touchdowns. Agholor recorded 24 kickoff returns for 443 yards (18.5 average). In 2014, he started all 13 games and led the team with 104 receptions and 1,313 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns. His 104 receptions in 2014 rank third on USC’s all-time single-season list and sixth in the Pac-12.

Check out some of Agholor’s highlights from the 2014 season:

Follow Agholor on Twitter at @nelsonagholor . Welcome to Philadelphia, Nelson. Looking forward to seeing you on the field.

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