Nelson Agholor, USC’s leading wide receiver in 2015, has declared for the 2015 NFL Draft, the Trojan Athletic department announced via Twitter Saturday.
Agholor follows in the footsteps of his two predecessors Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, who both declared for the draft after their junior years.
The junior wide out led the Trojans in receiving two straight years, topping Lee’s injury-plagued season in 2013 with 918 yards on 56 receptions and six touchdowns.
In 2014, Agholor topped the previous year’s performance with 104 receptions, 1313 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the All-Pac-12 first team for his efforts this year, which included five 100+ yard games in his final seven games as a Trojan. Two of those games also featured 200+ yards receiving.
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On special teams, Agholor was also a capable returner, logging four punt return touchdowns in the past two season.
CBS Sports projects Agholor as a second or third round pick and ranks him as the 11th available receiver on the board. Widely and positively compared to both Woods and Lee in terms of talent, Agholor’s draft evaluations have still be fairly muted.
Charles Davis of NFL.com named him among the players he believed should return for another year of development in school.
Without Agholor, the Trojans will turn to freshman phenom JuJu Smith, who emerged as USC’s second option in 2014, much the same way Lee did for Woods and Agholor did for Lee in their first years.
Agholor’s departure may stifle Smith’s plans to play both ways on offense and defense the way fellow freshman Adoree’ Jackson did in 2014 as he becomes the top target for Cody Kessler. However, it also opens the door for greater involvement from the likes of George Farmer, Darreus Rogers, Steven Mitchell and Ajene Harris.
Now, the Trojans await word on Javorius “Buck” Allen’s future, the redshirt junior running back also weighs his NFL decision.