Eagles get wideout Nelson Agholor at No. 20 in NFL draft
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Chip Kelly compared his pursuit of Marcus Mariota to looking at expensive houses he couldn't afford.
So the Philadelphia Eagles ended up drafting USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
''It was a really steep price,'' Kelly said about trading up. ''It's like driving in a nice neighborhood, seeing a house you like, hearing the price and turning around.''
The Eagles stayed put and took Agholor with the 20th pick in the NFL draft Thursday night after months of speculation that Kelly would move up to get his former Oregon quarterback. Mariota, the Heisman Trophy winner, went to Tennessee at No. 2. Kelly said he didn't offer any players on the current roster in his brief conversations with the Titans and Tampa Bay, which took Jameis Winston first.
Agholor is the first wide receiver picked in the first round by the Eagles since Jeremy Maclin in 2009. Coincidentally, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound wideout will help replace Maclin, a Pro Bowl pick last year who departed in free agency.
''He's a great fit for what we're doing,'' Kelly said. ''He has excellent speed, outstanding hands, he's an outstanding route runner and he's a student of the game.''
Agholor was thrilled the Eagles picked him. He joins an offense that's had three players - none of whom are still here - have their best seasons.
''I had a bit of sense because I told them I wanted to end up in a situation with truly special people and I felt that's what they have there,'' he said. ''It's a wonderful opportunity for me. I came from a college system where we did similar things. I feel I have a great opportunity to continue to grow daily.''
The Eagles have lost their best wide receiver in consecutive years. They released three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson after a career year with Kelly in 2013.
Agholor had 104 receptions for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He also returned two punts for TDs. Agholor finished his career with 179 catches for 2,571 yards and 20 TDs. He averaged 14.6 yards per punt return with four TDs.
''He's a real versatile guy, he can line up anywhere,'' Kelly said. ''He's dialed in as a football player, always striving to be better. He has a growth mind-set, not a fixed mind-set.''
Agholor can play inside or outside. Jordan Matthews had an excellent rookie season last year as Philadelphia's slot receiver. Josh Huff, a third-round pick in 2014, is expected to play contribute more this season. The Eagles also added veteran Miles Austin in free agency.
It's been a whirlwind offseason for the Eagles after they went 10-6 for the second straight year. Kelly traded Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy and released several veterans. He signed free-agent running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews and acquired Sam Bradford and Kiko Alonso. He also signed Tim Tebow to compete for the No. 3 spot at quarterback.
Bradford was mentioned in several trade rumors involving Mariota. But the former No. 1 overall pick is here to stay - for now. Bradford is recovering from his second ACL surgery and hasn't played since Oct. 20, 2013.
''He's on schedule, he's working extremely hard,'' Kelly said. ''Monday will be the first day we go on the field with him.''
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