Eagles Trade Back; Select Marcus Smith of Lousiville at No. 26
The Eagles selected Louisville outside linebacker Marcus Smith with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.The Eagles entered the night with the No. 22 overall pick, but traded down with the Browns, who gave up their 2014 third-round pick.
“My expectations in Philadelphia are to win championships," Smith stated during a conference call with the media. "I want to come in and help right away. If they need me to do anything – if it’s special teams, if it’s going to rush the passer or if it’s just playing on first and second down, or just playing on third down I’ll do whatever you need me to do to try and help the organization win. I know one thing about the Eagles is that they’re on the rise and we’re going to be a winning team.”
Smith was projected by many as a possible second or third round pick after running a 4.68 at the Combine with a 35-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. Even Smith seemed pretty unsure of when he would be selected.
“I had a feeling that I would, but I really didn't know exactly," Smith said. "I thought I was maybe looking at early second, maybe even the third round but I’m just so happy that the Eagles took a chance on me.”
Smith broke out as a senior with 18.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles and has a lot of experience in a 3-4 rush linebacker-type role, though his run defense is a work in progress.
“I have a lot of experience," Smith explained. "I’ve been running in a 3-4 [scheme] from my junior to my senior year. Most of the time you’ll see me with my hand in the dirt but if you go back and look at film I was moving around a lot of places. Even in my junior and senior years so I have a good feel with the 3-4 scheme.”
He visited Philly back in mid-April and will now call the city of brotherly love home, but will have a lot to prove to Eagles fans.
“I felt like they really liked me but I had no idea that they were going to pick me," Smith said about his visit with the Eagles. "I’m just so overjoyed right now.
Many Eagles fans were anticipating a wide receiver to replace DeSean Jackson or a impact level player on defense like a safety or cornerback. Instead they end up taking Smith who was a three-star quarterback recruit to Louisville, and played linebacker as a freshman before spending his final three seasons as an end-linebacker hybrid.
There was a lot of very good talent on the board I would have rather seen the Eagles take at pick 26 or even make another deal and trade down again, gain more assets. I think Smith had a shot to still be on the board in the second round with the 54th pick.