Seahawks sign Marcus Smith, trade KPL for D.J. Alexander

July 28th, 2017 | Written by Rob Staton

Here’s what I wrote about Smith just before the 2014 draft:

The other two options and wildcards for #32 are Marcus Smith and Demarcus Lawrence. Smith might be the more intriguing option — he ran a 4.6 at the combine with a 1.57 ten yard split. He’s a former quarterback and needs time — his arms lack muscle definition and he can get stronger. Yet the potential is there.

The nagging doubt I’d carry would be the unpredictable nature of edge rushers transferring to the next level. For all the scaremongering about taking receivers early — pass rushers are the ones to worry about. Look how many surprising busts there have been over the years. The speed isn’t quite as effective at the next level and you have to be able to battle — hand use, strength, counter moves and speed-to-power are crucial. Smith’s a nice athlete, but he’s not a rare player. As good as he looked in college, he’d be a risky pick at #32.

That second paragraph ultimately sums up his time in Philadelphia. He was the #26 pick, taken because of his athletic potential. He ran a 1.5 split at 251lbs and had 34 inch arms. He was worth a flier in the first or second round. He’s not the same kind of athlete as Bruce Irvin or Vic Beasley but he’s that type of modern day EDGE/LEO/SAM.

When he got to the NFL and he couldn’t rely purely on speed, he was found wanting. That said, he’s a nice reclamation project. Much in the way Dion Jordan and Luke Joeckel are. It’s possible he’ll never develop and will always be more athlete than pass rusher. It’s still worth a look to find out.

It wasn’t the only move today…

This came out of nowhere, although Kevin Pierre-Louis’ career in Seattle has been underwhelming despite his obvious physical talent.

Alexander is a former fifth round pick from Oregon State (2015). He was a special teams Pro-Bowler last season.

He ran a 4.56 at his pro-day and a 1.56 split. He also jumped a 34.5 inch vertical and a 10-3 broad. His 4.24 short shuttle would’ve been fifth fastest among linebackers at this years combine. We highlighted before the draft the apparent importance of the short shuttle in Seattle’s linebacker assessments.

He’s their type of LB — excellent short shuttle, special teams demon.

Here’s some tape from his Oregon State days…

Finally, according to NFL Insider Guy Fieri (ahem), full back Marcel Reece will be reporting for training camp in Seattle. He ended last season strongly and this can only be considered good news.

If you missed yesterday’s piece on Seattle going into training camp, click here.

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20 Responses to “Seahawks sign Marcus Smith, trade KPL for D.J. Alexander”

  1. Jujus says:

    Marcus Smith seems like a deja vu mirror of Chris Clemons…

    Very similar

  2. cha says:

    I really wish the best for KPL. He just couldn’t put it all together in Seattle.

  3. Myfanwy365 says:

    That BS call against the Falcons will always be my abiding memory of KPL.

    Trading a non pro bowl ST player for a Pro Bowl ST Ace is some wonderful Schneider magic.

    Great news about Reece too, looked solid last year. Can only benefit the run game to have him out there for Lacy/Rawls

  4. Seahawcrates says:

    Excited about the Reece signing. Just as Rob wrote that a healthy Russell improves the run game even with a sub par offensive line, a legitimate athlete at fullback can add pop there too. The team lost there one real multi-dimensional player at that position when Cottom went down in training camp. For some reason (roster flexibility?) they went with a succession of Hulks who could play desperation defensive line too. Tukuafu couldn’t get within sneezing distance of a defender in open field blocks and was a plug in short yardage.
    Reece was a clear upgrade and as a real option as a receiver had to be accounted for when he split out. There is more than one way to remove a run defender and he could do so pre-snap by going in motion.
    I like his experience and am hoping he can mentor Algernon Brown from BYU who I’m excited to track in pre season.

  5. John_s says:

    Happy to see you back Rob.

    Hope you got to spend some great time with your new one and the fam.

  6. EP says:

    Glad to have you back Rob. Hope the summer has treated you kindly. Look forward to the new season

  7. nichansen01 says:

    So happy to have the blog back!

    Really wish we would carry ten dlinemen this year.

    Michael Bennet – lock
    Cliff Avril – lock
    Frank Clark – lock
    Dion Jordan – athletic upside to be a steal
    Marcus Smith – athletic upside to be a steal
    Malik McDowell – lock
    Quentin Jefferson – interior pass rush potential
    Jarran Reed – lock
    Ahtyba Rubin – most experienced interior d-lineman, near lock
    Nazair Jones – near lock due to draft status. Big Tony McD replacement.

    What a deep and talented defensive line that would be.

    Might require only carrying five corners, four running backs and nine offensive linemen.

    Seems to be that DJ Alexander is a safe bet to make the roster. I think we move on from Marsh.


    Michael Bennet
    Cliff Avril
    Frank Clark
    Dion Jordan
    Marcus Smith


    Malik McDowell
    Jarran Reed
    Ahtyba Rubin
    Nazair Jones
    Quinten Jefferson


    Bobby Wagner
    KJ Wright
    DJ Alexander
    Arthur Brown
    Terrance Gavin
    Michael Wilhoite


    Kam Chancellor
    Earl Thomas
    Bradley McDougald
    Delano Hill
    Tedric Thompson


    Richard Sherman
    Shaquille Griffen
    Jeremy Lane
    Neiko Thorpe
    Deandre Elliot


    Russell Wilson
    Trevone Boykin


    Eddie Lacy
    Thomas Rawls
    CJ Prosise


    Marcel Reece

    Wide Receiver:

    Doug Baldwin
    Jermaine Kearse
    Tyler Lockett
    Paul Richardson
    Tanner McEvoy
    Amara Darboh

    Tight End:
    Jimmy Graham
    Luke Willson
    Nick Vannet

    Offensive line:

    George Fant
    Luke Joeckel
    Justin Britt
    Ethan Pocic
    Germaine Ifedi
    Rees Odhiambo
    Oday Aboushi
    Mark Glowinski
    Justin Senior

    24 for offense and 26 for defense.

    • Redhawk87 says:

      My roster prediction was actually very similar with only a few differences. I personally had Marsh stick due to his ST ability, but could just as easily see him go, especially with the addition of DJ Alexander. I personally don’t really see Dion Jordan making the roster, because he is still injured, and has been such a flop thus far. He would truly have to get healthy fast and dominate in the preseason games to get onto the roster, since the team has nothing guaranteed for him. Smith would be in a similar boat. They have a lot of potential, but with no resources tied to them, they would be easy cuts if they don’t show that potential. I’m personally going to stay pessimistic about them until I see otherwise, in which case I hope to be very pleasantly surprised.
      I only had them keeping 5 LBs on my estimate, with only two besides Wright, Wagner, and now Alexander. Between the rest (Wilhoite, Garvin, Brown, Powell, etc.) I honestly have no clue who will win, and am not really emotionally tied to any of them. I had the same DBs, with one addition: Desir. So I had 9-5-11.
      On Offense, I the only differences I had were
      – a 4th RB for Collins
      – I swapped Kearse for Grayson, if he shows he can sub Lockett for PR/KR duties (trading/releasing Kearse for Grayson would save $1.7M this year and $4.5M next year, which would add substantial cap space for other extensions)

  8. Kenny Sloth says:

    Had a Dream a new 3000 nfl mock draft was posted.

    I’ll take the new post!

    Welcome back to the grind guys!

  9. FAN Person says:

    Going over the roster today after new additions, here is what I see…

    In 2016 Seattle rolled with: 8DL, 6LB, 6S, 5 CB on D, and 2QB, 9OL, 4TE, 4RB, 1FB, 5WR… 25 PER

    On Defense this year we have a plethora of talent!

    DL (DE/DT) : Bennett, Avril, Clark, McDowell, Reed, Rubin – Then… COMPETITION
    Jefferson(Health?), Jones, Marsh, Jordan(Nah), newly acquired Smith…

    This is 11 monster dudes with only 8-9 spots available… I say Dion Jordan whom is
    still unable to participate is out, and I feel Smith beats out Marsh…

    CB – Sherman, Lane, Griffin, Thorpe, Tyson, Elliot (Shead on PUP) – Only 5 means a battle between Elliot and Tyson IMO…other guys on the roster too…

    LB – Bobby, KJ, + 4 of these: Wilhoite, Alexander, Garvin, Brown, McDonald, Palacio, Powell

    S – Earl, Kam, McDougald, Thompson, Hill…Cromartie, Simone battle it out—

    The Depth of this Defense will be vastly better than last year…

    Who makes the back end of it, we shall see…

  10. Coug1990 says:

    My prediction is that Reece does not make the opening day roster. But, gets signed after the first game.

    This is due to guarantees and roster flexibility.

  11. SeaHusky says:

    Trading an oft-injured LB, albeit a young athletic one, for a Pro Bowl level ST player is a great move. KPL just wasn’t capable of staying on the field without getting injured, and Alexander should greatly improve our punt/kickoff coverage team.

    Excited to see what Marcus Smith can do in a new environment that preaches competition above all else. He’ll either sink or swim, and if there’s a coaching staff in the league that can make him reach his potential, it’s the Seahawks coaches.

    Welcome back Rob!

  12. Redhawk87 says:

    Welcome back Rob!
    I’m glad you put up a Patreon page, so we can support your awesome work. I just subscribed and would recommend anyone who can to do the same! It’s great analysis, thank you for your work!
    I hope you had a great summer with your family 🙂

  13. peppapig says:

    Happy your back Mr Staton

    Best Seahawk site on the interweb by far. 🙂