I can say without a doubt that was the most entertaining first round I’ve ever seen. All of the pre-draft hype surrounding the Eagles turned out to be just that. As an Eagles fan, I initially came away feeling very disappointed with the Eagles selection of Marcus Smith, defensive end from Louisville. To be honest I didn’t know much about this prospect that was slated to be a day two pick. Even though we did need a pass rusher, I thought our pick would have been better used on Marqise Lee or any other player picked from our original 22 spot all the way down to the end of the first round.
After some tape watching and research, I can come away from round one feeling pretty content that we drafted a player that has quite a bit of potential. You can’t ignore the sack number Smith put up in his senior season at Louisville posting 14.5 sacks. Compare that to Khalil Mack’s 10 sacks or Anthony Barr’s 10 sacks and Smith must be doing something right.
The one thing that stood out to me is Smith’s ability to explode off the line of scrimmage and use his agility and speed to his advantage. Again comparing to Barr and Mack, Smith ran his 40 yard dash just two one hundredths of a second and three one hundredths of a second slower respectively which is pretty impressive. The one thing that I think enticed Chip the most was Smith’s versatility on the defensive line. After converting from the quarterback position, Smith has logged time at every position on the defensive line and even as a standup outside linebacker.
Overall, I think Marcus Smith can ultimately develop into a solid pass rusher for the Eagles, especially because he is a very nice scheme fit for our defense. However was picking him over some of the other prospects available a smart idea? Personally, I think the Eagles reached a bit drafting Smith with the 26th pick. Particularly because we missed out on just about every impact safety in the draft. On the bright side, though, it seems like we nabbed a pass rusher with nice potential and upside and only time will tell if he can develop into a defensive playmaker.
Just like the rest of Eagles Nation, I can not wait to see what coach Kelly pulls out of his bag of tricks Friday night.