By Mary Cunningham
While it’s not surprising that the Eagles are shopping last season’s No. 1 draft choice, washout Marcus Smith, the question must be asked:
Who in their right mind would want him?
NJ.com’s Mark Eckel reported that, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, but requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, the Eagles could be looking to move Smith.
“I don’t think they’ll flat out give him away,” he said. “But if they can use him in a package to move up, I think they’ll do it. I’m not just talking about the first round. They could use him in the second, or even third round, too.”
One scenario could have Smith perhaps going to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for linebacker Dion Jordan, with some picks, or other players, involved as well. Jordan, the Dolphins’ 2013 first-round pick, has been a major disappointment.
As Eckel pointed out, if that were to happen it wouldn’t be the first time the Eagles made a trade that involved two first-round picks that didn’t work out. In 1999, the Eagles traded 1997 first-round pick defensive end Jon Harris to the Green Bay Packers for offensive lineman John Michaels, also a ’97 first-round pick. The change of scenery didn’t help either player.
You have to go back a little further to see the last time an Eagles first-round pick played just one season for the team. That would be 1994 first-round pick Bernard Williams, who was suspended for testing positive for marijuana use, and never returned to the league.
Smith was the 26th pick of last year’s draft after the Eagles traded down from the 21st spot to select the linebacker from Louisville, who finished second in the nation in sacks in college with 14 1/2.
It was a rough rookie year for him, however, as he played on defense in just six of 16 games and was involved in a total of 68 defensive plays, or six percent of the defensive snaps. After playing 14 snaps in an easy win over Tennessee, Smith did not see the field on defense the final five games of the season.
When the Eagles selected Smith in the first round last year, considered a reach by many, they let it be known that there were teams picking later in the first and early in the second who would have taken him. If any of those teams are still interested he may be available.