NFL Draft Grades: National Roundup on Philadelphia Eagles Pick of Nelson Agholor


No, the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t land Marcus Mariota yesterday evening, much to the disappointment of Chip Kelly and to the team’s fanbase. That said, once the original disappointment of not getting Mariota starts to subside, at least somewhat, it’s hard not to feel excited about the team’s selection of USC Wide Receiver Nelson Agholor, who filled a team need and looks as though he could be a long-term cog with both Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff.

Of course, Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez throwing them the ball, with no clear long-term answer at the Quarterback position certainly doesn’t give fans a positive spin on the chances of ending the team’s well-noted quest for a first Superbowl, but it is what it is.

The Eagles may not have set themselves up to win a Superbowl last night, but they did improve a position of need, and when national writers handed out first-round grades, they seemed to be high on the selection of Agholor.

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke

Grade: B+

For the second consecutive draft, Chip Kelly and the Eagles have found themselves a wide receiver that appears to be a near-perfect fit for their unique scheme. This time around, it is USC’s Nelson Agholor, whom Philadelphia nabbed one round earlier than Jordan Matthews a year ago. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock immediately compared Agholor to Jeremy Maclin, an 85-catch, 1,300-yard receiver for the Eagles a year ago. Maclin left in free agency to join Kansas City, opening up a hole in the depth chart.

Agholor’s name had climbed into Round 1 discussion in the weeks leading up to the draft, with several teams intrigued by his advanced route-running and knack for getting open. In Kelly’s spread offense Agholor should see plenty of opportunities. He certainly has the skills to turn those chances into Maclin-like stats, even if this pick at No. 20 may have been pushing Agholor’s draft ceiling. One must wonder, however: Would Philadelphia have been better off re-signing Maclin and focusing its attention elsewhere at this spot, rather than leaving itself in need of replacing the talented receiver?’s Bryan Fischer

Draft pick: WR Nelson Agholor (No. 20 overall)
Grade: B+
The skinny: Poor Agholor will have the distinction of being “Not Marcus Mariota” in Philly, but that doesn’t matter. He’ll be a great fit for Chip Kelly’s offensive system. His return game is not to be underestimated either, and he’s a picture-perfect replacement for Jeremy Maclin. Don’t be surprised if he has the most catches of any rookie wideout next season.

 Bleacher Report’s Mike Tainer

Grade: B for Boring. Kelly did something boring. But for once he doesn’t earn a simultaneous A/F. 

More from Section 215

Life is not a video game. You don’t get where you want to go by fetching the Orb of Oogie Boogie to trade for the Wand of Lightning to trade for the quarterback you want. The shortest distance to a goal, even for Chip Kelly, is usually a straight line. And the best way to upgrade a passing game that lost Jeremy Maclin is to draft a player similar to Jeremy Maclin, or some other productive receivers.

Agholor fits the modern mold of the USC receiver: Marqise Lee, Robert Woods, Damien Williams and the Steve Smith who starred for the Giants a few years ago. That’s not to be confused with the old king-sized Mike Williams/Dwayne Jarrett model of USC receiver, who was usually too slow and not physical enough to do anything in the NFL except bamboozle Matt Millen.

 SB Nation’s Dan Kadar

Grade: B+

The versatile and speedy Agholor is a good foil for second-year wide out Jordan Matthews. If Agholor develops as expected, he could be this generation’s version of Reggie Wayne. But is he a legit No. 1 wide receiver who will scare defenses?

 CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco

Grade: B

I like this kid a lot, and he will be perfect for the Chip Kelly offense. They had to get a receiver, so it works here.


Being that Pete Prisco said something positive about the Eagles, that seems like an ideal place to stop. Don’t want to push the Eagles’ luck.

We will have an in-depth roundtable post-draft that breaks down the Eagles’ draft as a whole. Hopefully at that time the Eagles will have addressed holes both in the secondary and offensive-line, perhaps while managing to draft another effective pass-rusher.

Next: Morning Phil-Up: Getting To Know Nelson Agholor