Photo credit: Icon Sportswire
Author: Jon Kuzma
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If you followed the Chicago Bears last season you know they were ranked 10th in the league defensively. While that was an impressive feat for the Bears they weren’t content with that side of the ball heading into the off-season. In the 2018 NFL Draft General Manager Ryan Pace decided to select former Georgia Bulldog Roquan Smith and this kid is expected to contribute immediately. If you’ve watched Smith during his collegiate days you know just how dynamic of a defender he truly is. Roquan Smith is exceptional at playing sideline to sideline and he has instincts that are far beyond most rookie’s capabilities. The Bears are going to benefit greatly from that skill set and don’t be surprised to see Smith as a leader of this football team next season. Everyone in Georgia says this guy has an alpha male demeanor about him and that’s most likely what stood about Smith in Pace’s evaluations. When you also factor in how good of a blitzer the 2017 Dick Butkis Award winner is that’s going to be another x-factor for Chicago. Playing Smith next to Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd will have a huge impact when it comes to rattling opposing quarterbacks. That’s going to cause teams to struggle through the air and we all know it’s hard to win in the NFL when you can’t throw the football. Roquan Smith is also going to be great at covering his hook zone and eliminating the short passing game over the middle. So the Bears are getting a player who excels against the run, against the pass, and as a blitzing LB. You’re not going to find a lot of players with that kind of versatility and clearly that’s what makes Smith such a promising prospect. From here it’s about putting the rookie in pads and getting him acclimated to the speed of the National Football League.
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