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Eagles Take LB Marcus Smith

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith with the 26th pick in the NFL draft after trading four spots down with the Cleveland Browns.

 Marcus Smith (91)
Marcus Smith (91) (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

The 6-foot-3, 251-pound Smith is a versatile player with experience at defensive end. He projects at outside linebacker in Philadelphia’s 3-4 defense.

Smith had 14.5 sacks as a senior, finishing second in the nation. He’s the first linebacker drafted in the first round by the Eagles since Jerry Robinson in 1979.

Coach Chip Kelly passed on quarterback Johnny Manziel at No. 22 and sent the pick to the Browns for No. 26 and a third-round choice (No. 83). Kelly recruited Manziel at Oregon and recently said Johnny Football’s decision to go to Texas A&M broke his heart. But the Eagles are set at quarterback with Pro Bowl co-MVP Nick Foles.

The selection of Smith was a surprise because many draft projections had him going in the second round. Smith, who was recruited as a quarterback, has the speed to cover as well as rush from the edge.

He could push Trent Cole for playing time. Cole, a two-time Pro Bowl defensive end, led Philadelphia with eight sacks last year in his first season playing outside linebacker.

The Eagles won the NFC East in Kelly’s first season after finishing 4-12 in 2012.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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