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Road to the Draft: Marcus Smith

Position: Defensive end.
School: Louisville.
Measurements: 6-foot-3, 251 pounds.
40 time: 4.68 seconds. Vertical jump: 35 inches.
2013 stats: 14.5 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss.
Draft projection: Third round.

Lowdown: Smith finished second in the nation in sacks as a senior in 2013. It was a breakout year. He had three sacks as a sophomore and four as a junior. If he last to the early part of the third round, he could be a consideration for the Buffalo Bills, who need DE depth. Some teams might view him as a “tweener” because there’s doubt about whether he’s big enough to hold up at defensive end, and he has no experience at linebacker. He’s an edge rusher who’s a good, but not elite athlete. He did a lot of damage looping vs. the offensive line on stunts. Still, Smith has long, 34-inch arms and some explosiveness. Smith played quarterback in high school in Columbus, Ga., which has produced a long list of great athletes. That includes NFLers Nate Odomes (the former Bill), Otis Sistrunk, Jarvis Jones and Brentson Buckner, and baseball star Frank Thomas.

He said it: “I feel we made a statement to the nation that we can play with anybody in the country,” Smith said after Louisville’s bowl victory over Miami. “Every time we’re faced with a quality opponent we step up to the task and make it happen.”

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