This season, Smith has played a total of 54 snaps over the course of 10 games and has been moved to inside linebacker after he was unable to secure playing time as one of the team’s top-four outside linebackers.
According to McLane, the belief is that the Eagles were targeting six players with their No. 22 pick last year including: OLB Anthony Barr, WR Odell Beckham, CB Kyle Fuller, LB C.J. Mosley, WR Brandin Cooks, and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
However, the Eagles were unable to trade up for any of these players and later moved back to No. 26 overall and took Smith, who was their was the top player on their draft board.
McLane mentions that some NFL teams had given Smith a third-round grade during their draft preparation.
There’s still plenty of time for Smith turn things around and develop into a solid NFL player. The Eagles are going to preach patience with a young player that has already been asked to change positions, but there is obviously some concern regarding whether or not he’ll ever prove to be worthy of a first-round pick.
Smith, 22, still has three years remaining on his four-year, $7.80 million rookie contract that included $6.24 million guaranteed. He has base salaries of $774,504, $1,129,008 and $1,483,512 coming his way over the next three years and the Eagles will have the ability to pick up his fifth-year option in 2017.
This season, Smith has appeared in five games, but has yet to record a single statistic.