With the 26th overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Eagles selected Louisville DE/OLB Marcus Smith.
I’m not sure a lot of people saw this one coming. We all knew how big of a need a pass rusher was for the Eagles, but we also knew that there were not a lot of talented pass rushers available in the first round. After Anthony Barr came off the board early, it didn’t look all that likely that the Eagles would find the pass rusher they desired in the first round. However, after trading back with Cleveland and acquiring an additional third round pick (83rd overall), they took a pass rusher that they must be very high on.
To me, this is a very interesting pick. Originally, I didn’t want to see the Eagles take a wide receiver. However, with Marqise Lee still on the board at 26th overall, it seemed like a pretty good value pick. He is a talented receiver and one I thought they would be very high on given how he burned Chip Kelly while he was still at Oregon.
Additionally, we always hear about the Eagles draft strategy and the best player available mentality. They say they are not a team that doesn’t draft for need. To me, this seems like a pick made based on need. Most people seemed to give him a second round grade.
When you look closer at Smith, he definitely fits the Chip Kelly build. He stands at just under 6-4 and weighs in at 251 pounds. He is considered to be very athletic and a guy that can line up all over the field. The Eagles love versatility on the defensive side of the ball and it looks like he’ll be the type of player they can move around and play in a lot of different spots. Although he recorded 14.5 sacks as a senior, I still think there are a lot of question marks. He came out of high school as a quarterback before moving to the other side of the ball.
I’d be interested to see where the Eagles originally had him ranked on their big board.