The Eagles drafted linebacker Marcus Smith in the first round in hopes of boosting their pass rush, but it sounds like the Eagles will have to look elsewhere early in the season.
Coach Chip Kelly said during the preseason that Smith needed to be more productive if he was going to continue to get playing time and defensive coordinator Bill Davis indicated on Wednesday that the team hasn’t seen it yet. Davis said that Smith would be “in a limited role” on defense when the Eagles open up against the Jaguars.
That suggests Smith will be in the lineup and it will be interesting to see how the Eagles set their gameday roster. They have nine linebackers and it is unlikely that all of them will dress on gamedays. Smith has been backing up Connor Barwin at one outside linebacker spot with Brandon Graham and Bryan Braman on the depth chart behind Trent Cole on the other side, so it probably isn’t out of the question that the Eagles sit down one of their outside linebackers.
However they line up the pieces, a more consistent pass rush needs to arrive this season for the Eagles to build on last year’s division title.