USC's Nelson Agholor selected by the Eagles with 20th pick

USC's Nelson Agholor selected by the Eagles with 20th pick
USC receiver Nelson Agholor returns a punt for a touchdown against Arizona State last season. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Nelson Agholor made quite an impression on Chip Kelly.

As a USC freshman in 2012, Agholor caught six passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in the Trojans' 62-51 lossto Oregon at the Coliseum.


Kelly was Oregon's coach at the time, and on Thursday night the Philadelphia Eagles coach selected Agholor with the 20th overall pick in the NFL draft.

"I knew he was a productive player when he walked in as a freshman and he just kept getting better and better," Kelly told reporters.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Agholor caught 179 passes, 20 for touchdowns, during his three seasons at USC. He also returned four punts for touchdowns.

He is the first USC receiver since Mike Williams in 2005 to be selected in the first round.

"He's a great fit for what we're doing," Kelly said. "He was kind of what our model is. He was the best player that was available for us that fit our system."

Agholor was chosen 14 picks after the New York Jets selected USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

It marked the first time the Trojans had two first-round picks since 2012, when offensive lineman Matt Kalil was chosen fourth by the Minnesota Vikings and defensive end Nick Perry was selected 28th by the Green Bay Packers.

Last season, Agholor had 104 receptions, 12 for touchdowns, and averaged 12.6 yards per catch.

"Congrats to @nel-¿sonagholor. Great Player + Great Person!!!!!! Loved coaching him," former USC coach Lane Kiffin posted on Twitter.

"Yeah buddy @nel-¿sonagholor!! Pumped to play with you again, Philly you're gunna love this guy!" tweeted former USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who plays for the Eagles.

Agholor became the third Trojans receiver in three years to be drafted, following Robert Woods (Buffalo) and Marqise Lee (Jacksonville), who were second-round picks in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

As a freshman, Agholor was the No. 3 receiver behind Woods and Lee. He caught 19 passes, two for touchdowns.

Agholor caught 56 passes as a sophomore, six for touchdowns.