The Philadelphia Eagles grabbed a pass rusher with the 26th overall selection in the form of 3-4 outside linebacker Marcus Smith. The Eagles and Chip Kelly were impressed with his ability to do it all — not to mention he is incredibly athletic and had some of the longest arms in the draft, which is a prerequisite to play outside linebacker in Billy Davis‘ 3-4 scheme. This begs the question what does this mean for Trent Cole?
Cole is on the wrong side of 30 and his statistics have been in decline for a few seasons now. While he did finish the season with eight sacks, Cole was invisible in the postseason and he looks to be worn down and near the end of his career at this point. There is also the fact that he is due $5 million this season and a whopping $10 million in 2015. I don’t think there’s much doubt that while Cole has been a great Eagle, his age, fading production and huge salary will see him struggle to stay on the roster in 2015 and possibly as early as this season.
Despite taking some criticism from the so called “experts”, the Eagles made the right call in trading back, picking up an extra third-rounder and injecting some desperately needed youth at the all important outside linebacker position.
There’s no doubt pass rusher was the Eagles’ most crying need. They addressed it early and didn’t hesitate to get their guy despite outside criticism. It may mean the end for Cole, but it also means a brighter future on defense for the Eagles.