Aug 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebackerMarcus Smith
(90) and Pittsburgh Steelers tackleMarcus Gilbert
(77) battle during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Steelers, 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
“With the 26th pick in the NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles select Marcus Smith, Linebacker from Louisville.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday, May 8, 2014
And that was the last time you heard anyone with a microphone mention Marcus Smith’s name.
Which one of the following names does not belong?
Bernard Williams, Kevin Allen, Jon Harris, Freddie Mitchell, Jerome McDougle, Danny Watkins and Marcus Smith. Answer: They all belong. To a unique club. Welcome Marcus Smith, to the Philadelphia Eagles First Round Busts Club.
Consider for a moment, that after the Eagles selected Marcus Smith with the 26th overall pick, Kelvin Benjamin, Teddy Bridgewater and Marquise Lee were then selected within the next several picks. Can you imagine what a weapon Kelvin Benjamin would be in the Philadelphia Eagles offense today? I can. And so could you.
Instead what we have in Smith, the Invisible Man, is someone who makes Casey Matthews look like Jack Lambert, which is an almost impossible thing to do. So how did this happen exactly? Why are we as Eagles fans having to deal with the reality of another 1st round bust in the era of the information age?
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Probably the main impetus to the Marcus Smith selection is the fact that current Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Trent Cole will not be an Eagle in 2015. With an almost $12 million salary cap hit in 2015, Cole will not be a wise value proposition for the Eagles (or perhaps any other NFL team) next year at his prescribed salary. So, as the theory goes, draft a pass rushing linebacker now in 2014 to replace Cole next year, while learning the Eagles defensive system this year. Fine and dandy.
The only problem with this thinking is that we have been told repeatedly in the past by Philadelphia Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman that the Eagles do not draft based on need, but instead pick the best player available, regardless of position.
Well I have just one thing to say regarding that philosophy, and the selection of the Invisible Man:
Hardy Har Har.
As the saying goes, “If I were born yesterday, I’d be wearing diapers today”. Wait a minute.
“That’s the biggest thing for me as a first-rounder. I know people want me to play now. They expect me to be better than I am right now. But I’m trying to work hard, trying to get there, and once I get to that point, I’ll never look back” – Eagles Linebacker Marcus Smith
The Eagles 3-4 defensive scheme is predicated on rushing the passer with their edge rush linebackers. You must have it. That is why the Eagles were rumored to be poised to select Oregon’s Dion Jordan with the 4th overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, before Miami traded up and picked Jordan 3rd. It is an obvious need for this football team, and one their critical success factors.
My prediction for the Philadelphia Eagles 2015 1st Round Draft Pick: A pass rushing linebacker. But it won’t be based on need. It never is. Hardy Har Har.