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Quotes: First-Round Pick Marcus Smith

Posted May 8, 2014

On whether he thought he was going to be drafted in the first round: "I had a feeling that I would, but I really didn't know exactly. I thought I was maybe looking at early second, maybe even the third round but I'm just so happy that the Eagles took a chance on me."

On how much experience he has as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme: "I have a lot of experience. I've been running in a 3-4 [scheme] from my junior to my senior year. Most of the time you'll see me with my hand in the dirt but if you go back and look at film I was moving around a lot of places. Even in my junior and senior years so I have a good feel with the 3-4 scheme."

On whether he had a sense going into the draft that the Eagles really liked him: "I felt like they really liked me but I had no idea that they were going to pick me. I'm just so overjoyed right now. I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for everything. I had no idea, man, until they made that phone call and told me they were going to pick me."

On where he was when the Eagles made the phone call: "I'm out in Louisville right now at a sports bar with my family. I got the phone call and I was just talking and I didn't even let my family know who I was talking to. I just let the name be called so they could be surprised."

On switching to quarterback to defense upon his arrival at Louisville and how much more of a learning curve there is now that he's in the NFL: "It took me a year to settle in going from quarterback to linebacker because I had to get the mentality of a defensive player that knocks people down on the other side of the ball. I think what I've learned over the years, I've gotten better each year and this year I had an outbreak. I feel like I can carry everything that I did this year to the NFL. I want to make an impact right away and I know the coaches they have in Philly will train me up and get me ready for the season coming up."

On whether he is familiar with the Eagles defense and the players on the team: "I'm not too familiar with the defense. We talked about it when I went up there, but I do know they have some great players."

On how often he was asked to drop back in coverage compared to rushing the passer as an outside linebacker last year: "It was 50-50. I believe they dropped me 50-50 last year. Maybe not as much my junior year, but last year they dropped me back more. Going into the middle of the season I started rushing a lot more because they wanted me more involved getting to the quarterback. They wanted somebody to get to the quarterback. I was doing both so I would say 50 percent."

On whether head coach Chip Kelly joked around and asked if he could play quarterback once in awhile: "[Laughing] He never said that. They did ask me that over the phone when they called me before picking me. I told them, ‘Do you want me to throw a couple balls? I'll do that, too.'"

On how he compares himself to other outside linebackers in this draft class like UCLA LB Anthony Barr and Boise State LB Demarcus Lawrence for example: "I'm pretty much the same as those guys. I have good technique and I can rush the passer and I can also drop into coverage. I feel like I am very athletic. I feel like I could've gone up to where those guys went. I know how the draft goes and I know all you have to do is get one team to love you. I know that the Eagles will take care of me and I'm so happy to be part of this organization. [Buffalo LB] Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr are great players. I watched them on film a lot and there are some things they do that I try to take and add to my game. It's just a blessing."

On whether he is familiar with the city of Philadelphia and what his expectations are: "I'm not too familiar with the city. I do have family that stays in Philly, but I've never been to Philly. My expectations in Philadelphia are to win championships. I want to come in and help right away. If they need me to do anything – if it's special teams, if it's going to rush the passer or if it's just playing on first and second down, or just playing on third down I'll do whatever you need me to do to try and help the organization win. I know one thing about the Eagles is that they're on the rise and we're going to be a winning team."

On the decision to move him from quarterback to the defensive line: "Well, there were two players in front of me my freshman year. I wasn't getting a lot of reps and I wasn't doing too well throwing the ball. So my coach asked if I wanted to play defense and I told him I would do whatever it takes to get on the field. So he put me on defense in the second practice, because we had a two-a-day that day, and I never went back."

On whether his better days are ahead because he can get more polished: "Yes, sir, I really think so. I don't think I reached my full potential yet. I continually work every day and I know I have a lot of stuff to polish up and I know I have a lot of stuff to work on. I think once I'm in the league long enough and once I'm around the right people, especially on the Eagles that can teach me the things that I need to know, I think I'll be the great player that I want to be."

On whether he had a visit to Philadelphia: "Yes."

On whom he met with and what he learned about the defensive scheme: "I met with the defensive coaching staff. Their scheme, it's pretty straightforward. I'm either going to be the rush guy or I'm going to be the drop guy. That's what they told me I would be playing in their defense. I know for a fact they want me to rush and go get the quarterback, too."

On whether there is a current NFL player he compares himself to: "[Falcons DE] Osi [Umenyiora] from the Falcons. I look up to that guy and I also look up to [49ers LB] Aldon Smith even though he's gotten into trouble and has done some things. The way he plays and the way he uses his hands, I want to get my hands and quickness just like that. So those are two guys that I look up to. I also look up to [Packers LB] Clay Matthews. He's a great player coming off the edge and I know he's going to come back and do some great things."

On whether he can be a double-digit sack guy as a rookie: "Yes, I think with my abilities I can be a double-digit sack guy. I feel like once I get into camp and once I get rolling and get into a groove I think I can become a double-digit sack guy. I really do."

On why he thinks he was graded as a second or third-round draft pick: "Maybe because of my junior film. Maybe they thought I was a one-time thing. He just busted on the scene one year and maybe it was just because I didn't do well my junior year. I only had four sacks my junior year so a lot of people really didn't look at me like that. They kind of brushed me to the side."

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