By drafting Roquan Smith the Chicago Bears hope that they have filled a vacancy in their depleted pass rush. The Bears made Roquan Smith the No. 8 overall pick, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Bears deciding to go with Roquan Smith is a mild surprise on the first day of the 2018 NFL Draft filled with shockers.
In Roquan Smith, the Chicago Bears get an athletic linebacker who has a penchant for getting to the opposing team’s quarterback. Smith should be able to step in immediately and push for a starting job alongside his former Georgia Bulldogs teammate Leonard Floyd.
There is an available spot in the Bears’ linebacking corps. It sets Roquan Smith up to possibly make an immediate impact.
It is clear that the Bears went for need with Roquan Smith.
Having released linebackers Pernell McPhee and Willie Young, along with Lamar Houston becoming a free agent, the Chicago Bears were going to address the position with one of their first three draft picks. In the NFL mock draft by NBC Chicago, it was assumed that the Bears would take Tremaine Edmunds.
Between the two, Edmunds has a bigger upside because of his height and age; however, Smith was more productive.
Many NFL observers had Roquan Smith ranked as the best linebacker in this year’s draft. If not for the quarterback frenzy leading up to the draft, there would have been more conversation about Roquan Smith being worthy of a top-five selection.
Prior to the Chicago Bears choosing Roquan Smith, defensive end Bradley Chubb was the only player on defense taken. The Bears likely got a steal at No. 8.
Roquan Smith’s calling card is versatility. How the Chicago Bears have used Leonard Floyd in his first two seasons provides a clue into what they intend to do with Smith.
What the Chicago Bears will get in Roquan Smith is a linebacker, who is a sure tackler, with a knack for getting to the quarterback. His 6.5 sacks last season can be improved upon. If Roquan Smith can free himself from blockers, his sack numbers can jump off the charts.
Ideally, Smith could be an inch or two taller. He makes up for his lack of height with his elite jumping ability. The Chicago Bears make a safe but truly good pick.