When DeSean Jackson was released before last season, one of the biggest questions asked was, "How will the Eagles replace his numbers?"

The answer, of course, was with Jeremy Maclin, who caught nearly the same number of passes (85 vs. 82) for nearly the same number of yards (1,318 vs. 1,332) and touchdowns (10 vs. 9) as Jackson did a year earlier.

But Maclin is gone and the Eagles don't appear to have a No. 1 wide receiver waiting in the wings - although a case could be made for Jordan Matthews. More than likely, the numbers will be divvied up among a group that will include more than just receivers.

But there is another potential candidate to step into Maclin's shoes, and he drew comparisons to the new Chiefs receiver long before the Eagles selected him in the first round of the draft last week.

Nelson Agholor is polished, he's fast, he's versatile, and he's smart. The days when first-year NFL receivers weren't expected to produce at a high level right away - even ones selected as high as the Southern Cal product was - also appear to be waning.

Last year, one of the best receiver classes ever produced five first-round picks who played major roles on their teams and together averaged 70 catches for 979 yards and eight touchdowns. Matthews, chosen a round later, finished with 67 catches for 872 yards and eight scores as the Eagles' slot receiver.

While this class of receivers wasn't considered to be quite that caliber, it was still close behind. Six receivers were chosen in the first round, and Agholor was the fourth.

Asked Friday if he expected to have an immediate impact, Agholor held up a stop sign.

"That's not the conversation right now. The conversation is about me getting better," Agholor said after the first practice of rookie camp. "Today was a great day. I got out there, kind of understood a little bit more about NFL speed, put some things on film to learn from. When Week 1 comes, I think that will be an easier conversation for us to have."

Chip Kelly won't put much early pressure on Agholor. Last year Matthews ran with the second team throughout the spring and wasn't promoted until the middle of training camp, even though he was clearly ahead of every other slot.

But Kelly had more firepower last season and may need Agholor to deliver immediately.

Matthews should have a natural bump in his second year, but can he be just as reliable on the outside if Kelly were play him there more often? Riley Cooper isn't guaranteed a starting spot after his production dropped last season. Josh Huff has potential, but he didn't show enough as a rookie to say he will take a leap in Year 2. And veteran Miles Austin, added in April, has been in decline since injuries derailed his career.

But if Agholor can make a transition similar to Matthews', the Eagles won't have to worry about having to rely on Cooper, or forcing Huff into the mix, or expecting Austin to be the complement to Matthews.

Kelly would prefer to have interchangeable parts, receivers equally capable of playing both flanker and slot. When asked about Maclin's and Agholor's similarities, Kelly also noted how they were different - Maclin being more of an "outside, down-the-line receiver" and Agholor an "inside, outside guy."

Kelly used his receivers in a traditional way in his first two years, though. The outside receivers played primarily on the outside and the slot guys in the slot. In 2014, Matthews was in the slot 92 percent of his snaps, Maclin 21 percent, and Cooper 11 percent. In 2013, Jason Avant was there 78 percent of his time, Jackson 26 percent, and Cooper 18 percent.

Agholor said he played almost exclusively outside during his first two seasons in college, but Southern Cal's new coach changed the offense and moved the 6-foot, 198-pound receiver more often into the slot last year.

"Last year, we kind of went into more of an up-tempo, no-huddle offense with Steve Sarkisian," Agholor said. "And what we did was kind of almost what most of the Pac-12 teams do nowadays, [and] a lot like what Coach Kelly does here."

Aside from Amari Cooper, Agholor may be the most advanced of the first-round receivers. But some scouts worry that he has already come close to hitting his ceiling. Others view him primarily as a possession receiver.

"I liked him as a No. 2-3 wide receiver," an NFC personnel director said. "Thought he was a typical Southern Cal receiver. I liked his ability to convert on third downs. His lack of size and strength limited his ability to make the contested catch."

Agholor said he has deep-ball skills, as evidenced by his 18.9 and 16.4 yards-per-catch averages in his freshman and sophomore seasons. His 40-yard dash (4.42 seconds) at the combine was in the 82d percentile.

"I think he's got good linear speed that can get down the field," Kelly said, "and I think people will have to be leery about that."

As for adding bulk, Agholor said he could "put a good amount of weight on," but handed off to the Eagles' sports science division when it came to a number.

One thing he isn't lacking, like Maclin, is confidence. But it's a quiet confidence. There's nothing cocky about it. It will bode well at a position where having an edge is often necessary.

"I'm not worried about saying that I'm the guy right now," Agholor said. "I'm about getting better every day and I'll let the chips fall as they may from there."