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Barwin on Marcus Smith: Physically, he looks different

Johnny Manziel, Justin Gilbert and Jadeveon Clowney all underwhelmed as rookies, but few first-year efforts were more mysterious than that of Marcus Smith.

The Eagles linebacker played just 74 snaps and failed to make a tackle all year. One of the big knocks on Smith was his physique, with former Philly assistant Tra Thomas saying in February that the second-year defender "has the build of, like, a high school athlete."

Fellow Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin says fans are in for a new version of Marcus Smith come training camp.

"Physically, he looks different. He gained 15 pounds, he put on a lot of muscle," Barwin said, per CSN Philly. "He's one of the stronger guys on our defense now. He took the offseason and did what he needed to do, which was get bigger, stronger. Now we're just excited to see what happens when we put the pads on."

The Eagles need someone to fill the shoes of departed pass rusher Trent Cole. We see that spot going to Brandon Graham, though, especially after coach Chip Kelly told reporters in March that he had little to do with picking Smith at 26th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.

"Howie (Roseman) had final say on the decision," said Kelly, referencing the team's former general manager.

Smith is on a fairly long leash because of the $6.24 million in guarantees from his rookie deal. If he doesn't blow coaches away, though, the linebacker might wind up as the next name on Kelly's long list of players he's willing to dangle in a trade.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Lindsay Rhodes to discuss the Patriots' response in the "Deflategate" saga and the latest names revealed on the "The Top 100 Players of 2015" countdown. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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