Quarterbacks aren’t the only first-round picks to be buried on the depth chart. In Philly, linebacker Marcus Smith started his career on the third string.
As explained by Matt Allibone of CSNPhilly.com, Smith has been given a low rung as he tries to make the adjustment to life in the NFL.
“I think I’m starting to get [acclimated] now,” Smith said Thursday. “That first practice was run-and-gun and I was just really tired. Coach Kelly really talks about recovery, and that’s what I did starting the next day.”
In time, Smith could pass Bryan Braman for No. 2 on the left side. But the starter in front of Smith is Connor Barwin. And Smith will have a hard time leapfrogging the veteran.
While the Eagles hope Smith, who had 14.5 sacks last year at Louisville, can develop into a top-flight pass rusher, he’ll also be expected to drop into coverage. And he’s fine with that.
“I like it a lot,” Smith said. “I did it probably 50 percent in college and it expands my vision of what’s going on in the backfield. I think my speed is good enough to run with anybody.”
He may be right, but it could be a while until Smith is running with the ones in Philly. If Smith struggles to make an impact, Eagles fans surely will grumble about the decision to make him the 26th overall pick in the draft.
For more on the Eagles, here’s Tim McManus from PhillyMag.com and 97.5 The Fanatic on Friday’s edition of PFT Live.