Marcus Smith II
DE - FA
Marcus Smith, a first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was waived by the Eagles on Wednesday.
Smith was in the last year of his rookie deal and faced an uphill battle for a roster spot and for playing time. He skipped voluntary workouts in the offseason, and the team ultimately decided to move on from the disappointing first round pick. He is likely to get a chance somewhere else in the league as either a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 linebacker, but nothing will be handed to him easily.
Smith played 22 snaps against the Saints on Sunday which is the most he has played his entire 2 year career. He even recorded his first tackle of his career (an assist).
Chip Kelly hasn't been shy about his dislike of Smith in the past but after Sunday's game he said "we were pleased getting him out there". Smith also got some pressure on Drew Brees in his limited action and could be in line for additional snaps going forward.
The Eagles desperately needed Marcus Smith to step up and live up to his first round draft selection a year ago and as he battled injuries all preseason there was actually debate over if the Eagles would cut ties with him.
Now that Smith has made the final 53-man roster he must prove early on his worth and make an impact on the field and not just on the teams depth chart.
Marcus Smith has all the hype of a first round bust. That is even more the the case as he can't stay healthy and make it on the field to silent his doubters. He missed practice again on Monday and still remains a candidate for release.
It was important for Smith to get as much reps in this offseason and the opposite has happened for him as he has been battling injuries and remains sidelined. With all the depth and talent on the Eagles roster, Smith is going to have an uphill battle to crack the final 53 man roster.
After an MRI on Friday morning it was confirmed that Smith only suffered a hamstring strain which was big news for Smith as he feared the worst when he felt it pop during practice on Thursday.
"It's not as bad as I thought it was," Smith said Friday. "Three weeks is probably the most. I'll definitely be ready for the Falcons game. I'll try to be back for the last preseason game." Whatever the case Smith still remains an Eagles 1st round draft pick bust that is on the verge of running out of time. It is crucial for him to stay on the field and start to show the coaching staff that he belongs and can make plays on defense.