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Eagles pick Marcus Smith in 1st

PHILADELPHIA -- The pick: Marcus Smith, LB, Louisville, No. 26

My take: Smith had a solid season for the Cardinals with 14.5 sacks while playing linebacker and on the defensive line. At 6-foot-3 and 251 pounds, Smith has good size and strength. But will he be an effective pass-rusher in the NFL? That’s the challenge awaiting the Eagles, who still have major needs at wide receiver with the loss of Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson.

Stepping in: Trent Cole led the Eagles with eight sacks last season, and the team finished 20th in the league in that category. It’s a facet of the game that must be improved upon in 2014. Smith will help, but the Eagles could have gotten help in the second round.

What’s next: The Eagles added a third-round pick (No. 83) when they traded the No. 22 pick to the Cleveland Browns for the No. 26 pick. Adding a draft choice was huge, especially when the Eagles began the day with just six picks.