Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville (HT: 6’3⅜”, WT: 251 lbs)
First Round: 26th Pick
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- Smooth mover athletically and plays with terrific balance.
- Significant length with large hands.
- Uses length to fire his hands into blockers and control.
- Has some natural burst to accelerate off the line of scrimmage.
- Can flatten out on the corner with enough flexibility to dip under the hands of tackles.
- Will club the shoulder of pass-blockers and use lateral quickness to work around them.
- Attacks the throwing hand of quarterbacks and will rip the ball out from ball-carriers, forces fumbles frequently.
- Productive blitzing from the interior when Louisville disguised looks.
- Highly disruptive stunting to the inside and taking on interior pass-blockers.
- Will gets his hands up with timing, deflects passes at the line of scrimmage frequently.
- Light feet with comfort to drop from the line of scrimmage in zone coverage.
- Plays on his toes with head on a swivel in coverage.
- Rarely a match for a tight end on the edge as a run-stopper.
- Will generate power and reset the line of scrimmage to set a hard edge in a contain role.
- Uses length to extend hands, create space and disengage with relative ease.
- Experience playing from both two- and three-point stances and from a variety of alignments.
- Doesn’t show much wiggle or short-area quickness, more of a linear athlete.
- Drops his head taking on blockers and doesn’t always find the football quickly.
- Inconsistent diagnosing plays and reacting quickly.
- Much less productive when initial pass-rush move is handled by the tackle.
- Doesn’t accomplish enough with his hands, reliant on his athleticism.
- Needs to develop countermoves and set up pass-blockers more often.
- Doesn’t generate a lot of power from his lower half to bull rush.
- Made a number of unblocked sacks, play was elevated by scheme at times.
- Not a man coverage type, struggles to plant and drive on routes.
- Will come off the ball too aggressively and take himself out of run plays.
- Motor to pursue the ball isn’t overly impressive, didn’t make a lot of tackles.
- A 3-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2010 with an athlete designation, unranked by Rivals.
- Was a running-style quarterback in high school before moving to defense as a freshman at Louisville.
- Moved to linebacker initially, then to defensive end.
- 2013 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
Marcus Smith is an edge player who burst onto the scene as a senior. He was the wild card in head coach Charlie Strong’s hand. Smith’s versatility allowed Strong to move him all over the field and give opposing offenses fits. Smith played on the edge, from the interior and even lined up over slot receivers.
He translates as that type of linebacker in the NFL. His size and frame could tempt a team to build him into a 4-3 defensive end as well. Smith’s explosive movements and instincts make him a high-upside pass-rusher. If his pass-rush repertoire and hand usage can be developed by an NFL coaching staff, he could become a high-level edge-defender on Sundays.
Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd Round