Eagles Wake-Up Call: Agholor A Fit For Chip


Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles’ pre-draft film session with first-round selection Nelson Algholor went into OT, Chip Kelly said.

“When he came here and had a visit here, we were in the room with him for a long time because of the questions he had for us about, ‘How do we attack this coverage? What do we do here?'” said Kelly. “He’s one of those guys that’s really just a student of the game. You get excited when you are around guys like that. He’s just trying to soak up everything that you can spit out in terms of being able to give him coaching points and he’s always trying to get better…Really exactly what we’re looking for in a football player.”

Kelly compared Algholor to Jordan Matthews in terms of his approach to the game and determination to improve. When it comes to size (6-0, 198) and speed (4.42 40), his numbers are almost identical to Jeremy Maclin‘s coming out. Their games are a little different, though. Kelly explained that while Maclin is more of  an outside receiver, Algholor is more of an “inside-outside guy.”

The USC product is also a special teams threat. He returned four punts for touchdowns the past two seasons and he was on coverage teams as well.

“An outstanding punt returner along with an outstanding receiver,” said Kelly. “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.”

Born in Nigeria, Agholor and his family moved to America when he was 5, and they ended up settling in Tampa. Kelly recruited him coming out of high school and coached against him when he was at Oregon and Algholor was a freshman at USC. Kelly was quick to recall his stat line when the Ducks and Trojans met back in 2012.

“He had six catches for 162 yards in front of my face.  I knew he was a productive player when he walked in as a freshman and he just kept getting better and better,” said Kelly.

“I guess the best way to say it is he’s just dialed in as a football player. I think the great thing about Nelson is he has a growth mindset not a fixed mindset, and he’s always trying to get better.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

Sheil looks at why Chip Kelly will love coaching Agholor.

The Titans reportedly turned down a huge offer from Kelly for Marcus Mariota.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Mike Sielski of the Inquirer writes on the realization that Sam Bradford is now the Eagles quarterback for the foreseeable future:

Start with Kelly, who tried and failed to acquire a quarterback he reportedly has said will win several Super Bowls, who did everything short of offering Jeffrey Lurie, Mayor Nutter, and a five-year supply of Tastykakes to the Titans and couldn’t get a deal done.

There has always been an all-or-nothing assumption coloring the way people viewed Kelly’s pursuit of Mariota, as if because Kelly preferred Mariota, he wanted nothing to do with Bradford, beyond using him as a trade chip. But it is possible for Kelly to think two things simultaneously: that Mariota would be the Eagles’ best option at quarterback, and that Bradford is a better option than Nick Foles. Those notions aren’t mutually exclusive, and it’s on Kelly to prove that Bradford is an upgrade from both Foles and Mark Sanchez, to design an offense that maximizes Bradford’s strengths.

Tommy Lawlor gives his thoughts on the Agholor selection.

Agholor is a good fit for the Eagles offense. He has the speed to be a deep threat, but also has terrific RAC skills. The WR corps had some talent, but needed someone with top speed and RAC skills. Agholor comes from a pro style offense so he will be more advanced than some other WRs and that could help him to challenge for starting time right away.

Good pick.

If you are going to have Sam Bradford as your QB, you need to give him weapons.

COMING UP

Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft beginning at 7 p.m. The Eagles own the No. 52 and 84 overall pick.


IN THIS SECTION