Eagles star Nolan Smith's best football quality isn't his athleticism

Nolan Smith has always been teachable, and that will certainly be part of what we attribute his upswing to.
Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

You know what? The more we get to know this Nolan Smith fellow, the more we like him. He isn't 'PG-13' by any means. He gets excited and when that happens, he can quickly slip into 'coach speak'... You know... the NSFW stuff, but the second-year Philadelphia Eagles star is always worth a listen. It appears now that he is also a fantastic watch.

After selecting the former UGA standout as the seond of two first-round selections in 2023, the BIrds, in essence, gave him a redshirt, sort of. Sure, he played 188 regular-season snaps, roughly 16% of the team's total last season and another 245 on special teams (55%), but the defense had Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, and Josh Sweat that they could rely upon. So, again, most of Smith's first season was spent taking mental reps.

He also dealt with a shoulder issue of some sort.

Fast forward to the present, and things have changed. Reddick is out. Bryce Huff is in. B.G. is in his final season. Sweaty is in a contract season. If there were ever a time for Smith to shine, that time would be now. An Eagles captain for the past two seasons, Darius Slay believes in his teammate. So do we and the reasons why extend past the playing surface.

Nolan Smith is coachable and eagar to learn, and that will benefit him greatly as his Eagles career continues.

This ought to make you smile. While enjoying some time off after the 4th of July, we were perusing social media, and we found the following, Nolan Smith hanging out with Indianapolis Colts edge rusher Kwity Paye. Thank Eddy McGivra and Anthony DiBona, but check out some of the visual.

As short as that clip is, it is both facsinating and insightful. This is all we have seen from Nolan since his arrival. Sure he's a two-time College Football Playoff National Champion (2021, 2022). We understand... He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, but that won't ensure him anything in the NFL. His mindset, however, will do the opposite.

Since arriving in the City of Brotherly Love, Smith has been a sponge. He has soaked up the wisdom given to him by everyone from Lane Johnson and Jeff Stoutland to Brandon Graham and Haason Reddick. He speaks glowingly and affectionately about everyone who has poured into him. He's a student, one who is never too proud to say he doesn't know everything. That by far is one of his most endearing qualities.

Year two is a big one for Nolan. Being a first-round selection, the Birds don't want him to excel. If we are being honest, they kind of need him to be a difference-maker. In a world where guys place themselves on pedestals, this young Dawg keeps on working.

They say you get out of something what you put into it. If that's true, this young man will be fun to watch for a long time.

Read more Eagles news and notes