Louisville’s first player taken in the 2014 NFL Draft wasn’t Teddy Bridgewater, and the second player taken wasn’t the quarterback, either. Marcus Smith was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 26th overall pick.
Smith was a fringe first-round prospect, but he jumped into the first night due to the Eagles’ dire needs on the defensive side of the ball. The two defensive ends in the Eagles’ 3-4 defense are Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox. If Smith enters the league physically ready, he should see plenty of early playing time.
Miami fans will remember Smith as the guy who sacked Stephen Morris twice in the Russell Athletic Bowl last year. North Carolina fans will remember him as the defensive lineman who picked off Bryn Renner in 2012. Smith had half of a sack against N.C. State in 2011.
Smith was the AAC Defensive Player of the year in 2013. This is the first time in Louisville history that two players were selected in the first round; Calvin Pryor was picked 18th by the Jets. That number could easily become three if Bridgewater gets picked up at the end of the night.