Williams Drafted Sixth By Jets, Agholor Taken 20th By Eagles|
USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams was selected by the New York Jets with the sixth pick of the 2015 NFL Draft while wide receiver Nelson Agholor was taken 20th by the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday (April 30), giving the Trojans' a nation-leading 79 first round draft picks.
Williams and Agholor, who both declared for the draft following their junior seasons, are the first Trojans taken in the first round since 2012 when Matt Kalil went fourth to the Minnesota Vikings and Nick Perry went 28th to the Green Bay Packers. Kalil and Perry were also juniors.
Williams and Agholor give USC 485 NFL draftees, the most in the country.
Williams, a two-time All-American first teamer who led USC with seven sacks last year to go with 80 tackles, is USC's highest pick since Kalil. He is USC's first defensive lineman taken in the first round since Perry and is the highest Trojan defensive lineman drafted since the Oakland Raiders picked Darrell Russell second in 1997.
Williams is USC's ninth defensive lineman drafted in the past 10 years and the 12th in the past 12 years, seven of which were taken in the top two rounds.
Agholor is USC's first wide receiver to go in the first round since Mike Williams was selected by the Detroit Lions in 2005 at No. 10 and he is the 14th Trojan pass catcher drafted since 2000, including the seventh in the top two rounds.
Williams and Agholor are the first pair of Florida-native Trojans drafted in the same first round. The last Trojan from Florida taken in the first round was Keith Rivers in 2008 (Cincinnati Bengals).
Williams, USC's first two-time All-American first team defensive end since 1959-60 (Marlin McKeever), had 218 tackles in his three-year starting career, including 36.5 for losses (with 21 sacks). Last fall, he notched 80 tackles (second on USC), with team bests of seven sacks and three forced fumbles.
Agholor, who earned All-American and All-Pac-12 first team honors in 2014, had one of the best pass catching seasons in USC history last year, grabbing 104 balls (third most ever at Troy) for 1,313 yards and 12 TDs. He also returned two punts for scores. He was third nationally in punt return TDs, seventh in receiving TDs, eighth in receptions (8.0), 12th in receiving yards (101.0) and 18th in punt returns (10.4) in 2014. His back-to-back 200-yard receiving games was a first in Trojan history. In his career, Agholor had 179 catches for 2,571 yards with 20 TDs and also returned a school-record four punts for TDs (he had 3,572 all-purpose yards). He ranks eighth on USC's all-time receptions list and seventh on the career punt returns chart (540 yards), the only Trojan in both Top 8 rankings.