It’s an understatement to say that Louisville outside linebacker Marcus Smith is the most polarizing Eagles’ first-round draft pick in awhile.
There are legions of Birds fans today who want to dangle Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly from Billy Penn’s hat.
They are incensed that the Eagles traded down to make a reach.
Not easy to do without popping a few discs.
The pick was about as sexy as Queen Elizabeth.
Marcus Smith might as well be named John Smith.
Even Kate Smith would have been a more digestible pick for Iggles’ Nation.
The only way Marcus Smith could have been more anonymous was if he had been in the witness protection program.
Most NFL teams considered Smith to be a late second-rounder or third-rounder.
So what’s up?
Well, while Smith is raw fix-me-upper project, the Birds plucked him because they’re desperate for a pass rusher and opted for Smith because of the promise he could deliver just that.
Sure, they could have taken Johnny Manziel, but with Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley, that would have been an exercise in quarterback redundancy.
Granted, they could have drafted a wide receiver, but there are plenty of good ones left to snatch in later rounds.
Meanwhile, pass rushers in this draft are scarcer than pacifists in Putin’s inner circle.
Evidently the Eagles had identified six players of first-round caliber they hoped to grab.
All six were gone before the Eagles’ 22nd selection. They could have traded back again, but they liked Smith and couldn’t guarantee that he’d be there when they picked 54th overall.
So they traded down to No. 26 and picked Smith, which suddenly had Adam’s apples from Wildwood to Bethel bobbing in disbelief.
Was it a pick that will live in infamy or immortality?
Only a fool could conjecture either way at this juncture.
Which is why they play the games.
Otherwise they simply could ask Nostradamus or Mel Kiper Jr.