05/11/2014 - Big reach? Eagles believe Smith blend of talent and need...The Eagles had just 37 sacks last season and finished 31st in sacks per pass play. Linebacker Trent Cole, who led the team in sacks with eight, will be 32 in October. "We thought adding a pass rusher was a big thing for us," coach Chip Kelly said. "A young kid to bring in behind Trent and Connor (Barwin). Those guys can teach him the ropes and bring him along. "His ceiling is very high. He was recruited as a quarterback and is new to the position, kind of like (offensive tackle) Lane (Johnson, the Eagles' 2013 first-round pick). He's an outstanding athlete."
The Eagles selected Smith after trading down from their original spot at 22 to 26 in a swap with the Cleveland Browns, and picking up a third-round pick from the Browns, the 83rd overall selection in the draft. The trade down was important because the Eagles entered the draft with just six selections, their fewest in 11 years. "He was the next (highest-rated) guy for us," Kelly said. "We felt we could move back and pick up a pick. We didn't want to move too far back because we were afraid there was going to be a run on (pass-rushers)." - The Sports Xchange
05/11/2014 - Big reach? Eagles believe Smith blend of talent and need...The Philadelphia Eagles went into Thursday's first round of the draft insisting that they were going to take the best player available when they were on the clock, regardless of position. If it happened to match up with a need, fine. If it didn't, fine too. "We have to stick to our board," general manager Howie Roseman said before the draft. "The draft is a long-term decision for us. We don't know where we're going to be in 2-3 years. "We are going to take the best player, and we are not going to force guys up just because we have a particular anxiety about a position, because we look at a particular spot on our depth chart and say we don't have that.
"Now, I go home at night and think about that all the time. I want to have a 90-man (offseason) roster of guys who are going to make teams. And I want 53 guys who can start. But we've got to get past that. "We've got to know that we have to make good long-term decisions. We have to get really good players. And when you look at forcing (a pick because of need), whether it's our team or other teams in the league, it doesn't work." As luck would have it, the player the Eagles wound up with Thursday, Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith, also happened to line up with one of their biggest needs - a pass-rusher. - The Sports Xchange
05/08/2014 - 2014 DRAFT SCOUT FINAL TOP 100: 61/6. Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville, 6-3, 251, 4.66, 2...While several other defensive ends are hoping to prove they are able to double as an outside linebacker, Smith already has shown he can do that and more. How about an emergency quarterback? OK, it would need to be a real emergency, but he began college as a QB in 2010, was moved to OLB within a week, then to DE in 2011. He eventually became Mr. Versatility in the front seven. He can drop, but seems more effective moving forward than he does in space. Frankly: A maybe, baby. Reliable "jack of all trades, master of none" who has decent speed (4.66 in 40 yards), athleticism or strength (23 reps with 225 pounds on bench). - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com
05/07/2014 - Five players who should be on Houston's draft radar...LB Marcus Smith, Louisville: More pass rush? More pass rush. There is no such thing as too much when it comes to finding players who can put pressure on the opponent's backfield and Smith would be an interesting fit in Romeo Crennel's defense. Although starting his Louisville career at quarterback, he emerged as the Cardinals' defensive MVP as a senior with 18.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks, earning First Team All-AAC honors as the conference's Defensive Player of the Year. He lacks physically imposing size or strength, but his initial burst along with his active hands and energetic play style allows him to be effective, whether rushing the pocket or dropping into space. Smith will find himself locked up and needs to better disengage and develop his pass rush moves, but he is scheme versatile and would give Crennel options. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com