With the 7th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the Bears selected inside linebacker Roquan Smith out of Georgia. Smith is now on a team with a long list of legendary linebackers. From Butkus to Singletary, Urlacher to George, Briggs to Wilson, Connor to Buffone, the list goes on and on. With all this history, Smith has a lot of weight resting on his shoulders, and the expectations are higher for him than any other defender taken in this draft. Not only do I think he’ll meet those expectations, I believe he’ll exceed them to the point where 20 years down the line, Smith will be part of the list of best Bears linebackers.
Roquan Smith is 6’1, 236 lbs and ran a 4.51 40 yard dash. In 3 seasons at Georgia, Smith totaled 146 solo, 252 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 3 pass deflections, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles. He was elected to the 2017 Consensus All-America Team, he won the 2017 Dick Butkus Award for best linebacker, and he won the 2017 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Smith is an athletic freak with insane speed (for a linebacker), he’s been described as a “tremendous leader” by former coaches, he has football instincts and is very intelligent when it comes to the game, he’s a face-up tackler who isn’t afraid to get involved, and he plays with discipline.
Roquan is going to be a star. One day people are going to call him a top 3 if not the best linebacker in the league. He’s going to be the anchor of a Bears defense that will be the best there’s been since the Urlacher and Briggs era. He’s going to lead this team (along with Mitch Trubisky) to many playoff appearances and maybe even a few Super Bowls. Roquan Smith was the perfect pick at 7, and he’s going to be the best defender the city of Chicago has seen since recently inducted hall of famer Brian Urlacher.