With the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles traded back to the 26th selection that was previously owned by the Cleveland Browns, and chose a player, that not many, if anybody, had going in the first round.
The Eagles taking Marcus Smith was almost as surprising as the Jaguars taking Blake Bortles at number three, or the Miami Dolphins taking offensive lineman Ju’Wuan James out of Tennessee.
When the Eagles took Marcus Smith, your only reaction could have been, “Marcus who?! Marcus Smart, Marcus Allen, Marcus Mariota? No, Marcus Smith, defensive end/linebacker out of Louisville.
The Eagles could have taken Marqise Lee out of USC, a linebacker with a better grade in Jeremiah Attaochu, or even gotten better at the nose tackle position by taking Louis Nix III, but no the Eagles reached on a guy with a lot of potential in Marcus Smith.
This pick, with all the question marks surrounding it, actually makes sense for the Eagles. Philadelphia ranked 20th last season when it came to rushing the passes as the only came up with 37 sacks which ranked 20th in the NFL.
The Eagles needed to get better rushing the passer, and they did just that. Smith had 14.5 sacks last season as a senior at Louisville and was the American Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Smith will most likely come in on passing downs originally, but as he develops, he can work his way more into the starting lineup.
The Eagles drafted a player that will come with some risk as they drafted him in the first round when he had a second or third round grade on him, but if he can develop into the player that they think he can be, the Eagles got an excellent football player.
The Eagles still have needs at the secondary and wide receiver positions, but they can address those needs tonight as the draft is very deep at those spots.
The second round is set to begin at 7PM ET and the Eagles will hold the 54th pick or 22nd pick in the second round and then the picks in the third round.