Nolan Smith is the Eagles defensive equivalent to Jalen Hurts

Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

For most of us, our dreams of landing in the NFL and suiting up as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles ended in high school. Sure, we had dominated at the prep level, and we were monsters in middle school. Still, the best favor a man can pay to himself is to honestly assess his talent and come to grips with who he is.

The statistics were right. As we climb the ladder to football greatness, more of us will fail than succeed. Nolan Smith doesn't have that problem. He's been winning since he decided this is what he wanted to do.

No one should be surprised. If we were able to take Jalen Hurts, his work ethic, and maturity, and create a defensive alter-ego/edge rusher, Nolan Smith might be the result. No scratch that. Nolan Smith WOULD be the result.

Nolan Smith continues to impress. Recently, he worked out with an idol and legend.

After totaling 88 tackles, 10.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception during two seasons at the prep level, Smith was ranked by 247Sports as the top prospect in the country and the 20th-best prospect of all time. He was even compared to Khalil Mack.

Following four seasons at Georgia with the Bulldogs, the two most recent ending in College Football Playoff National Championship Game wins, Smith was drafted 30th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles during the most recent NFL Draft. His NFL comparison is now his teammate, Haason Reddick.

Nolan has also said publicly that he patterns some of his game after future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Von Miller. How's this for sauce? Recently, they worked together in Las Vegas at the seventh annual Von Miller Pass Rush Summit on Saturday.

SI's Ed Kracz reported that Smith could be seen moving dummy bags on and off the field. He was hardly able to stand while waiting on his turn to take a rep, but he continued to work his arse off. No one should be surprised. This guy is very Jalen Hurts-like in his commitment to being great, and like Jalen Hurts, no one should be surprised when his hard work pays off and we're watching a star at work.

This was a dream come true for the rookie. One needn't look any further than a comment he made while speaking with members of the Philly media not too long ago, one where he brought up Miller unprompted.

"I'd say Von Miller is someone I model my game after. I watch guys like my body type like Von Miller, Haason Reddick and the moves that they use and just the different things that they do, not only with their hands but how they bend the edge and use speed to power and how they set up their moves and play a game within the game, so, I focused on the bending at the top of the rush in my game just because I think it helped me get to the quarterback quicker, and also big guys don't want to get down there and touch you."

The NFL has a way of bonding young stars with former idols they admire. One day, you have posters of guys in your locker. The next, you're on the field competing with or against them. As the saying goes, Nolan Smith is 'built differently'.

Some rookies head to Vegas to party. Some will head to the beach before training camp begins. Smith went to work. Forget those discussions about his size. He's a baller, and he's going to be a monster in year one with Philly.

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