Six weeks after losing Jeremy Maclin to the Chiefs, the Eagles replaced him by drafting 6-foot, 190-pound USC wide out Nelson Agholor with the 20th pick in the draft Thursday.
Agholor, who caught 104 passes for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, is a converted running back who is also a gifted punt returner.
Agholor caught 179 passes for for 2,571 yards and 20 touchdowns in three years at USC.
The Eagles were desperate for wide receiver help after losing Maclin and a year after losing DeSean Jackson.
They drafted Jordan Matthews in the second round last year, making this just the third time in franchise history they’ve taken wideouts in the first two rounds in consecutive years.
The only other first-round wideouts the Eagles have drafted during the modern era are Mike Quick (20th in 1982), Kenny Jackson (4th in 1984), Freddie Mitchell (25th in 2001) and Maclin (19th in 2009).
Other than Agholor and Matthews, the only other receivers on the roster with NFL experience are veteran Miles Austin, second-year pro Josh Huff and Riley Cooper.
After Kelly was unsuccessful in his bid to move up to the first or second pick and draft his former Oregon quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, the Eagles remained at No. 20.
The Eagles had their choice of a number of highly regarded players at No. 20, including defensive ends Alvin "Bud" Dupree of Kentucky and Randy Gregory of Nebraska, receivers Breshad Perriman of Central Florida and Phillip Dorsett of Miami, cornerback Byron Jones of UConn, safety Landon Collins of Alabama and offensive tackle Jake Fisher of Oregon.
But Kelly picked Agholor, a converted running back who said at the combine in February he’d be happy to play some running back in the NFL.
“If that’s what they want me to do,” he said. “I like Green Bay has a guy like Randall Cobb in the backfield, running the out routes and the swings. He’s always
the hot read in many situations. That’s part of my game I want to have ….
“I think it’s very important to who you are, and it increases your value. You’re an every-down receiver. They talk about an every-down backs, there are some receivers you can’t keep in the game all downs. I want to be the guy you never sub out. I want to be the guy you can run behind. I’m the guy you throw to on first down, the guy you go deep to.
“Doesn’t matter. Or the guy you put in the backfield to get exotic.”