Marcus Smith   LB   Louisville

TALENT BOARD ROUND 4

STRENGTHS
Marcus is that long, lanky LB/DE who should be a very good specialty pass rusher for the team that selects him. He reminds me of the Chicago Bearsí 2006th 5th round pick Mark Anderson. Marcus has a good burst off the line and has solid pass rushing moves. He has strong balance and strength and just enough foot speed and change of direction skills to flush, chase and finish plays in the backfield. Marcus will throw his arms up and knock down passes if he senses that he is not getting into the backfield quickly enough to make a sack. He has the agility to fall off the line and into passing lanes to stop screens to his side. Marcusí impact is as a specialty pass rusher because of his burst off the line, his length and his ability to step up and make the big play when itís needed. He looks like a good teammate and works well timing his stunts for an inside rush with his linemates. Marcus likes to rush the quarterback, so let him.

CONCERNS
Marcus is not the type of LB/DE that will help much in stopping the run unless he can run and give chase to make a tackle from behind. Draft him and understand that he is a pass rusher and not a run stuffer. Thatís just the way it is.

BOTTOM LINE
When Mark Anderson came into the league his first year, he was used as a specialty pass rusher. He had 12 sacks for the Chicago Bears. The Bears then decided that Mark must become a starter and, unfortunately, Mark did not have the skills to start so this one trick pony act got found out and never impacted for the Bears again. When Markís contract was up, he was let go. He bounced around until the Patriots decided to bring him on and use him as a specialty pass rusher once again for the 2011 season. Mark had 10 sacks, then signed a big contract with the Buffalo Bills who decided to start him and once again, Markís one trick pony act fell flat and he was finally let go. Marcus is that same style of player. He can rush the passer, but keep him on the field as a starter and teams will be able to defend him easily. They will run right at him so that third and long is taken out of the equation. Taking third and long out of the equation means that Marcus doesnít rush the passer and Marcus not being able to rush the passer means you have taken Marcus out of the equation. Donít take Marcus out of the equation -- use him as your pass rushing specialist and guess what, you might get double digit sacks out of him.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2014