It's too early to harbor buyer's remorse for Nolan Smith, but it's impossible not to compare him to other rookies.
Call it whatever you want. Call it unmet expectations. Call it the Philadelphia Eagles' mismanagement of resources. Frankly, we view it as the latter.
After using a first-round draft choice to select Nolan Smith, the 30th overall, the Philly will walk into their regular-season finale with him only having played 147 snaps, roughly 13% of the total number of snaps played by Philly's defense this season. He has played another 228 on special teams (54%).
That has produced 17 tackles, a sack, another QB knockdown, and three pressures. It's safe to say that wasn't what we were looking for.
Nolan Smith is going to be fine. We believe that. Some of what has gone on is he has, in essence, been given a redshirt, sort of. He'll become more of the process in the future.
Still, it's hard not to look around the NFL and not experience some envy when you think of some of the other rookies and how they're producing for their teams. Let's rank a handful that could have been taken over Smith.
5. Zach Charbonnet, running back, Seattle Seahawks
Zach Charbonnet was a First-Team All-American and a First-Team All-Pac-12 nod before being selected by the Seattle Seahawks this past April.
5. Drafted 52nd overall (22 spots after Eagles selected Nolan Smith)
Zach Charbonnet, in 15 games with two starts this season, has produced 430 yards and a touchdown on 103 carries while playing in a reserve role. He has produced 181 yards on 31 receptions.
Would you take Zach on this roster? Maybe? Maybe not? We say no. Take the pass rusher over the running back, especially early. Here are a few other guys, some of which we have discussed often.