Like many of you, I was quite surprised when the Eagles selected Marcus Smith in the first round at 26. I figured the pick would be Lee and they would address pass rusher on day 2. But I can't say I'm upset about how things went down. A friend of mine raved to me about Smith before the draft but I only had chance to watch a little bit of his tape. But upon further review, I was pleasantly surprised. In my opinion, the value here right now is the coverage skills. He looks very comfortable dropping back and playing in space. He has good speed for his size and even covered the slot receiver from time to time. But he's here to rush the passer right? He flashes great ability to get to the quarterback but is still pretty raw. Considering he's relatively new to the position that's to be expected.He has a good first step and speed rush off the edge. He needs to learn to use hi along arms better to his advantage. I expect that when the eagles bring him in and coach him up that will be a main point of emphasis and should help him more easily get off blocks. I also expect him to get stronger after getting into a NFL lifting program. This should help with his bull rush so he doesn't have to rely on just his speed to get to the quarterback. I think that maybe 2-3 years down the line he should fully blossom as a pass rusher. All in all, I like this pick. He doesn't have to come in a start right away so there's no reason for the eagles to rush his development along.
As for the rest of the draft, I am pretty pleased. I Love Matthews even though I had my heart set on Latimer for that pick. But I can't complain. Matthews is big, fast, and productive. A polished player with a very high floor. Huff I thought was a bit of a reach but I can't say I dislike the pick. He has great body control and does a good job of adjusting to the ball. He's a strong guy who shows a willingness to block and does it well. Should be a solid special teamer as well. Jaylen Watkins is a nice cover guy who has played at safety and corner. He can run like the wind but isn't as physical as I would like. Overall, he's pretty soft tackler. I foresee him taking over at nickel for Boykin if the team decides not to give him a new contract after this season. He'll want to get paid and he always may be looking for a starting outside job which i don't think they are prepared to give him. Reynolds is a solid tackler with average speed. I think he'll take Kurt Coleman's old role as a spot starter safety/special teams regular. I don't know very much about Hart but Chip probably does. I doubt Beau Allen makes the 53-man, probably ends up on the practice squad.