PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After trading the 22nd pick in the NFL draft to Cleveland for the 26th pick and their third round pick, the Eagles shocked everyone calling a name many fans hadn’t even heard of, Marcus Smith, an outside linebacker.
Smith, 6’3″, 251-pounds, who played quarterback in high school and converted to pass rusher at Louisville, had 14.5 sacks his senior season. Most analysts did not project Smith as a first-rounder and the Eagles may have reached to draft a position of need. Smith says he wants to prove the critics wrong.
“That’s ultimately what I want to do,” Smith told Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show on Friday morning. “I want to show the world that I could play this position and be very dominant at doing it.”
The WIP Morning Show took the pulse of the fan base regarding the selection of Smith and the vast majority of fans said the hate the pick. View results here. Smith says he is eager to change the perception once he steps on the field.
“No it doesn’t worry me because once I get out there and play and show them why the Eagles picked me at number 26 and why I played the position, and why I do the things that I do,” Smith said. “Maybe they’ll start liking and start seeing that I am a good player.”
Smith, who many see as a project-type of player that needs to learn many aspects of being a being a pass rushing outside linebacker in the Eagles 3-4 scheme, says he is ready to contribute right away.
“I am very confident in myself that I could come in and play right away and just make an impact right away,” Smith said. “I think I can do that and I’ll be able to help the team out.”
What does Smith need to improve on?
“I would just say better my dropping into coverage skills, being able to stop the run more firmly,” Smith admitted. “I think with the coaches they have in Philly, they will help me do that.”
Smith says he has heard nothing but good things about his new head coach and is excited to be a part of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I heard nothing but good things about Chip [Kelly],” Smith explained. “When they brought me up [to Philly] — the linebacker’s coach, the defensive coordinator, everybody was talking about him — they just had nothing but good things to say about him. Saying that they’re building a relationship, a foundation, with the Eagles and I just wouldn’t be more happy to be more a part of it.”