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Philadelphia Eagles Make Biggest Reach of 2014 NFL Draft
Philadelphia Eagles Make Biggest Reach of 2014 NFL Draft
Bob Whalon | 05/09/14 | 12:13 AM EDT 0 Comments
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Eagles pick a head scratcher.....again!

Somebody always has to make the biggest reach during each NFL draft.  You know, the pick that has everyone scratching their head because a team picks a player way before they should have.  Well this year that team was the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Philadelphia Eagles kept telling everyone that they were going to take "the best athlete available" during the 2014 NFL Draft.  Then they picked a guy who was rated by everyone as a third round talent.  You gotta be kidding me.

The Eagles traded the 22nd pick in the draft to the Cleveland Browns for the 26th pick and an additional 3rd round pick (83rd) and almost everyone had to assume it was because they would still be able to take a receiver to replace DeSean Jackson, who they released a few weeks ago.  But while top receivers like Marqise Lee from USC was still on the board at 26, the Eagles reached for a DE/OLB from Louisville named Marcus Smith.

I'll be honest, my first reaction was "Who?!?"

I'm sure many other Eagles fans had more of a WTF moment when this pick was announced.  I mean, there is no way Smith was the best player available on any draft board.  That means that the Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly had better be right or this pick could end up being compared to other bad reaches like Mike Mamula, Jon Harris or, more recently, Brandon Graham.

Kelly said that the Eagles identified six players they wanted at the No. 22 pick, but all of them were taken before that spot, so they decided to trade down.  One of those players was obviously WR Brandin Cooks, who was taken by the New Orleans Saints at No. 20 after they traded up in front of the Eagles.  The other player the Eagles had to have in their sights was Monica Lewinski's favorite player, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who went one pick ahead of them at 21.  That one hurt more than an uncomfortably inserted cigar.

Yes, the Eagles had a desperate need for a pass rusher, but they could have this particular player a round or two later.  To make matters worse, Smith is best described as a project since he was recruited to Louisville as a quarterback and is still learning how to play defense.  Sound like a certain recent Fireman pick the Eagles made under Andy Reid to anyone?

I've been behind most of what Chip Kelly has done in his time with the Eagles, but I can't endorse this pick.  I think the Eagles definitely reached to fill a need, which is exactly what they told us they would never do again.  To make matters even worse, Smith was a DE in college and the Eagles are projecting him as an OLB in the Pros.  That is a dangerous game to be playing with your first round pick.  

Kelly always talks about wanting length in his players, meaning he wants bigger players with long arms.  Well, Kelly himself looks like he has long arms to make the biggest reach of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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