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Thoughts on the Roquan Smith Selection From Around the League

| April 27th, 2018

Selecting Roquan Smith with the eighth pick of the first round was an absolute no-brainer for Ryan Pace. Taking my favorite player in the draft? Icing on the cake.

What did others have to say about the pick? It’s being universally praised. Two things I have heard from a source inside the Bears.

(1) The team was genuinely surprised Roquan became available. There was an assumption by Pace & Co. that Smith wasn’t going to make it by Indianapolis and the team had begun zeroing in on playmaking DB Minkah Fitzpatrick.

(2) Last three first round picks? Georgia. North Carolina. Georgia. The Bears lean heavily on their southeastern scouts and we should all take note.


From the illustrious Adam Jahns:

“I know Vic and his staff will maximize this player, and that’s what’s exciting about it,” Pace said after the first round concluded. “Vic’s been around a lot of good linebacker play, and this just adds to the great linebacker play the Bears have had as well.”

Pace called Fangio’s input “very important” on Smith.

“This is obviously one of Vic’s top players, [and] one of Matt’s top players, my top player,” Pace said. “We might have 10, 12, 15 grades on a guy, and it’s so comforting for me when I can look at that bandwidth of grades and they’re all right next to each other.

“That’s definitely how Roquan was, so it makes the pick really easy when we’re all unified like that.”

Smith fits Fangio’s mold for inside linebackers. At 6-1, 236 pounds, he’s built similarly to former 49ers star Patrick Willis (6-1, 240). And that’s just the start.

Smith’s instincts, range, speed and tenacity, and his take-charge demeanor off the field, also fuel comparisons to Willis, who was a tone-setting, five-time All-Pro in the middle of Fangio’s elite 49ers defenses. Pace said the Smith has “outstanding intangibles.”


From my two high-profile league sources:

  • A current league GM: “The perfect Bear middle linebacker.”
  • Former NFC personnel man, freelancing for an AFC team this off-season: “Told you several times over the last few weeks. This is my favorite defensive player in the draft. He’s a sure thing.” (He’s not lying. This individual’s praise is the primary reason Roquan became my favorite player in this draft.)


From our own Andrew Dannehy:

The Bears turned their rivalry against the Packers around when they finally got a marquee defensive player to battle with Brett Favre. Now they have somebody to compete against Aaron Rodgers. 

It took a while for Urlacher’s Bears to get on the same level as Favre’s Packers. Urlacher was the first piece of that team’s foundation, so Roquan Smith is entering an entirely different situation. The Bears already have a good defense and Smith’s ability to cover the entire field and deliver a blow to ball carriers should take it to the next level.

Smith is the perfect linebacker for the modern NFL. He can drop back 20 yards to take away the middle of the field in the passing game and then chase mobile quarterbacks down when they try to run. He moves as well as some of the top defensive backs in the draft and hits better than any other linebacker. 

Smith is to the defense what Trubisky is to the offense. He’s going to be the captain and the player who makes them go. Nick Kwiatkoski and Danny Trevathan are fine players, but Smith is on another level and will help take the Bears’ defense from good to great. 


From the fellas over at CBS Sports:

Grade: A

Pete Prisco: They needed a playmaker at linebacker and this kid has Ray Lewis qualities. Like it.

Chris Trapasso: Electric speed-to-power linebacker with sideline-to-sideline capability and comfort in coverage. Diagnoses rapidly and rarely makes a false step. Instant impact. Best linebacker in this class.


From Matt Bowen, via Twitter:

“LB Roquan Smith was one of the top players I watched on film this year. 4.51 speed to the ball. Tackling at the point of attack. And the ability to play in space. Smith has the talent to make an immediate impact on the Bears defense.”


From Chad Reuter of NFL.com:

The skinny: The Bears found much-needed speed and talent for their defense in Smith. He’s not a physical specimen in the Brian Urlacher mold, but he’s still a force to be reckoned with. The Georgia star was the best player on the board at the eighth pick.


From Andy Benoit at Sports Illustrated:

Vic Fangio is one of the game’s smartest, most nuanced schemers, and two things define a Fangio defense: Blurry zone coverages and nickel packages (almost never dime). A team needs great inside linebackers to do this. Zone disguises start at safety—Fangio likes to keep two back deep—but they’re perfected at linebacker, a position where many defenses don’t think to employ subtle disguises. By playing nickel every snap, even if there are four wide receivers on the field, Fangio places tall orders on his linebackers in coverage. When you have the right ones, it can be great (Remember what Fangio did in San Francisco with Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman?), and Smith, one of the most dynamic all-around stack linebackers in this draft, should fill this role successfully.


From our friend Scott Wright of NFLDraftCountdown:

Once Quenton Nelson came off the board it was obvious the Bears would be going defense with this pick.  It was just a matter of whether it would be a linebacker or defensive back, and I think they made the right decision.  Smith is really going to bolster a front seven that is short on playmakers and perhaps more importantly be the defensive field general.  It’s not every year that an off-the-ball linebacker who isn’t a top pass rusher comes off the board in the top half of the first round.  One recent example is Luke Kuechly, who went #9 overall when he was coming out of college.  Smith will be expected to have a similar type of impact and I think he’s up to that tall task.

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  • Irish Sweetness

    FWIW Cubbie fans … just watched Costner tell Larry King he’s got one more baseball film in him, and it’s about the Cubs. Needs somebody to write it though.

    Welcome to Chicago Roquan. Be great.

    • CanadaBear

      Maybe the life of Milton Bradley?

      • NBIT (Not That Other Guy)

        In 20 years there’s a great movie to be made about Theo Epstein’s career snapping two World Series droughts. But I think its too early to tell that story in a Hollywood format.

        • NBIT (Not That Other Guy)

          Would also be interested in seeing a film about the founding of Major League Baseball – the oldest major pro league in the country.

          Has there been a film made about the NFL’s early days? I imagine quite a few great actors would love the chance to play Vince Lombardi.

          • CanadaBear

            I honestly can’t think of any decent movies about the old days of the NFL. All the ones I can think of are all about college ball back then. NTM those movies were dreadful (other than the Marx Brothers in Horsefeathers!!!!!!!!).

  • Irish Sweetness

    Does he have his hands resting on his knees before the snap in that video?

  • That Guy

    I heard more than one guy on ESPN radio and NFL.com compare smith to Kuechly. If he can be Kuechly without the concussions, I’m more than happy.

  • Pace went with the safer pick for once. That’s a shift for him in the top 10.

    I like it. Said many times I thought Edmunds would be the Pace pick, but I preferred Smith.

    • he also shifted his approach to be more win-now aggressive in FA this year. That tells me he thinks the team is ready to compete in 2018. Which makes me very happy.

      • Johnnywad

        I’ve been posting that since January. I’m crushed that you don’t value my opinion. Sigh……..

  • catfish44

    Top 50 remaining prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft – live updates
    BY PFF ANALYSIS TEAM • APR 27, 2018

    With all the movement after Round 1 and all the movement likely to come over the weekend, here’s the list of the top 50 remaining prospects, updated after the culmination of each round.

    Follow along on Twitter – @PFF – for complete analysis and community threads to jump in the discussion of your favorite draft pick so far!

    Top 50 remaining prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft
    3. MAURICE HURST, MICHIGAN – INTERIOR DEFENDER
    The prototypical 3-technique defensive tackle, Hurst offers a pass-rushing toolbox that no other interior player in this class can come close to matching. His four-year career of grades is unlike anything we’ve ever seen at the defensive tackle position, proving his durability and sustainability at the position.

    8. JOSH JACKSON, IOWA – CORNERBACK

    Iowa’s Jackson broke out with a huge season in 2017, not just leading all corners in overall PFF grade in 2017, but he had the highest grade we have seen from any of the corners in this class across their entire college careers. He allowed an NFL passer rating of just 36.5 when targeted on 91 passes, a lower mark than if the quarterback had just thrown the ball at the dirt every play instead. He is also extremely young at the position, having only moved to corner in 2015, so his potential is sky high.

    12. HAROLD LANDRY, BOSTON COLLEGE – EDGE DEFENDER

    If Landry came out a season ago, he may very well have been a top-10 pick. His high end as a pass-rusher is as dominant as anyone we’ve graded at the college level not named Bosa or Garrett. We can forgive an injury-riddled 2017 when athleticism is such a big part of Landry’s game.

    17. WILL HERNANDEZ, UTEP – GUARD
    Hernandez may be limited to a straight-forward gap/inside zone scheme, but he should be a dominant run-blocker if he is put in one. The UTEP guard possesses an almost comically-thick build that makes him a people mover in the run game. He was PFF’s highest-graded guard in 2016.

    18. CONNOR WILLIAMS, TEXAS – TACKLE
    Scrap Williams’ injury-riddled 2017 tape and go back to his sophomore year. That season he was utterly dominant and allowed only four pressures all season. Not many true sophomores are capable of the level of play we saw from Williams in 2016, as he flashed all the tools necessary to be a high-level tackle in the NFL.

    21. DALLAS GOEDERT, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE – TIGHT END
    One of the best offensive playmakers in the draft, Goedert is weapon both before and after the catch. He has the size and body control to make spectacular catches and also the athleticism to create after the catch as he tied for the national lead with 12 missed tackles forced and averaging a gaudy 8.2 yards after the catch per reception last season. Goedert dominated FCS competition, but also showed well when facing FBS teams during his career, and he has offensive mismatch potential at the next level.

    24. JAMES WASHINGTON, OKLAHOMA STATE – WIDE RECEIVER
    Few receivers can match Washington’s production over the last few years as he’s been one of the best downfield threats in the class. He led the nation with 815 deep receiving yards last season and his ability to maintain his speed in and out of his breaks makes him a threat at all levels. He tacked on a dominant Senior Bowl week to his productive career and Washington has the skills to beat press coverage and win on the outside.

    25. MASON RUDOLPH, OKLAHOMA STATE – QUARTERBACK
    With three straight years grading at 90.0-plus, Rudolph is going overlooked in this draft class. He was certainly aided by weak Big 12 defenses and a loaded group of receivers, but Rudolph has a good feel for throwing outside the numbers and he’s improved his ability to throw tight-window passes in between the numbers. Last season, he had the second-best grade in the draft class both from a clean pocket and when pressured, and Rudolph should at least be in the conversation when it comes to first-round hopefuls in the draft class.

    32. JAMARCO JONES, OHIO STATE – TACKLE
    Jones wins the award for prettiest pass sets in the entire class. That’s even more encouraging considering how little Ohio State’s offense asked him to take true pass sets. He’s already NFL ready in that regard and has improved every season of his college career.

    33. DONTE JACKSON, LSU – CORNERBACK
    One of the most exciting athletes in this cornerback class, LSU’s Jackson has speed to burn and short area quickness to go along with it. He is 5-foot-11, but is lightweight at under 180-pounds, which could cause him problems at the next level against big, strong receivers. He has played in the slot in college, which may help his transition to the NFL, and needs to play the ball better than he has in the past, but his potential is very intriguing.

    36. ISAIAH OLIVER, COLORADO – CORNERBACK
    A tall, long corner who perfectly fits the profile of what NFL teams are looking for in a cornerback these days. Oliver hits the league one year behind a pair of teammates that both flashed early potential as rookies. He is still a little raw and does get out of control at times with that large frame, but his potential is huge, and he fits the profile NFL teams want a lot better than some players on this list, which could see him drafted higher than he would otherwise be.

    38. COURTLAND SUTTON, SMU – WIDE RECEIVER
    One of the bigger receivers in the class, Sutton uses his long frame to create plays down the field. He has good quickness for his size, showing up with 26 forced missed tackles on his 143 catches over the last two years. He can be a red zone and downfield weapon at the next level as he plays with more juice than some of the other big-bodied receivers in the class.

    39. RONALD JONES II, USC – RUNNING BACK
    USC’s Jones had the highest overall PFF grade in the entire nation in 2017 (92.4), a mark that is also tied for the highest single-season grade posted by any back in this class over their college careers. Jones isn’t the receiving threat that Barkley is, with just 40 targets over the past three years of play, but his carries are something special and he is, to an extent, the antithesis of Barkley’s running style, as he usually maximizes what his blockers provide for him.

    40. OGBONNIA OKORONKWO, OKLAHOMA – EDGE DEFENDER
    A tad undersized, Okoronkwo has enough length and juice to make us think he can hold up on the edge. Unlike Davenport, Okoronkwo more than held his own at the Senior Bowl and flourished in the actual game with two sacks and four other hurries.

    41. NICK CHUBB, GEORGIA – RUNNING BACK

    Injury threatened to derail Nick Chubb’s career but 2017 saw him back to his best for the Georgia Bulldogs. He had an elusive rating of 95.2, the fourth-best mark in the draft class and posted the best overall PFF grade of his college career (87.8). Chubb has elite-level athletic skills, cutting ability and vision, and has a relatively low workload because he split duty in the Georgia backfield with Sony Michel. If teams are happy with how he checks out medically, he could be an early star.

    42. CARLTON DAVIS, AUBURN – CORNERBACK
    A big, physical cornerback, Davis has the talent to be exactly what NFL teams are looking for at the position right now. He is aggressive and makes receptions extremely hard work, but he has done so at times by stepping well past the acceptable contact line, especially the NFL’s acceptable line. He was flagged six times in 2017, and all were defensive pass interferences. He needs to back off the contact a little, but he has shutdown qualities to his game.

    43. MIKE GESICKI, PENN STATE – TIGHT END
    Gesicki excels at using his long frame to create big plays on off-target throws and in contested situations while using his long strides to glide down the field. His size and body control makes him an option against safeties and linebackers when lined up on the outside. Gesicki has struggled in the run game, failing to crack a 60.0 run-blocking grade in any year of his career, so he’ll have to be managed at the next level in order to tap into his contested-catch ability.

    45. DERRIUS GUICE, LSU – RUNNING BACK
    A prototypical back from a size and speed standpoint, Guice is another player that could make a strong impact right away. He averaged 4.1 yards after contact per carry in 2015 and 2016 before dropping to 3.2 yards after contact on average in 2017 with a heavier workload. There is again little to dislike about Guice and the only negative was that he lost a notable level of dynamism with a heavier workload at LSU in his final season.

    47. KYLE LAULETTA, RICHMOND – QUARTERBACK
    Lauletta posted the top grade among all quarterbacks in the draft class when throwing at the intermediate (10-19-yard) level, though he must improve his work on the deep ball where he ranked 34th among draft-eligible quarterbacks. He had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl where he showed off his red-zone accuracy and came away with the top grade among quarterbacks during team drills.

    48. MARK ANDREWS, OKLAHOMA – TIGHT END
    A glorified slot receiver in Oklahoma’s offense, Andrews has the quickness to separate and create yards after the catch (6.0 yards after the catch per reception over last three years). He improved his ability to catch off-target throws and he projects as a mismatch weapon capable of lining up in-line, in the slot or on the move. Like many of the top tight ends in the class, Andrews has work to do in the run game, but he’s one of the top receiving options available and a threat to create big plays at all levels of the field.

    49. MICHAEL GALLUP, COLORADO STATE – WIDE RECEIVER
    One of the more underrated receivers in the draft, Gallup is a smooth runner with good speed and skills after the catch. He uses his hands to create late separation down the field and he’s been one of the most productive receivers in the nation over the last two years, ranking second in yards per route in 2016 at 4.34 and 15th in 2017 at 3.18.

    50. ANTHONY MILLER, MEMPHIS – WIDE RECEIVER
    Miller has three excellent years of production where his speed, quickness and body control make him a threat at all levels. He can win from the slot, but has enough to his game to do damage in the outside with his nifty route-running. Miller’s 3.47 yards per route ranked fifth in the draft class last season and he plays beyond his frame with a number of impressive catches along the sideline.

    51. RONNIE HARRISON, ALABAMA – SAFETY
    Harrison is at his best playing closer to the line of scrimmage, where he can be a factor against bigger receivers and make plays in the run game (85.1 run-defense grade in 2017). He’ll struggle if he needs to match up against shiftier slot receivers or if he needs to play too much single-high free safety, but he has an excellent feel for the short pass game as a zone defender and fits a traditional strong safety or dime linebacker role very well.

    52. NICK NELSON, WISCONSIN – CORNERBACK
    Nelson has one year of elite play at Wisconsin, allowing just 36.9 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught and notching 14 pass breakups. He didn’t have a single interception over his career, and wasn’t the same dominant force before he transferred while at Hawaii, but the upside in his 2017 season is hard to ignore.

    53. WYATT TELLER, VIRGINIA TECH – GUARD
    Teller possesses about as much nastiness as any offensive linemen in this draft class when he wants to show it. He had some of the most dominant blocks we’ve seen this past season and that explosiveness will translate well to the NFL. Teller is a four-year starter with impressive grades each season. – Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike)

    54. TARVARIUS MOORE, SOUTHERN MISS – SAFETY
    An excellent pro day (4.32 40-yard dash, 6.89 3-cone) has Moore flying up draft boards, but his on-field production matches the workouts. He had the nation’s No. 6 overall grade last season at 87.2, showing well both against the run at 86.8 and in coverage at 84.2.

    55. PARRY NICKERSON, TULANE – CORNERBACK
    Nickerson is a player with multiple seasons of high-level PFF grading for Tulane. His 2017 season features one of the most spectacular interceptions of the season and allowed an NFL passer rating of just 39.0. He allowed just one touchdown in each of the past two seasons.

    56. KEMOKO TURAY, RUTGERS – EDGE DEFENDER
    Turay was one of the nations best designated pass-rushers as a freshman and sophomore before putting on weight and becoming a full-time player as a senior. He lost some of that pass-rushing prowess, but still has rare flexibility for a big man.

    57. BRADEN SMITH, AUBURN – GUARD
    Smith plays angry snap after snap, consistently playing to the whistle. He’s not the most natural of athletes, but his power in a phone booth is special. He finished 2017 as PFF’s third-highest graded guard.

    58. JUSTIN REID, STANFORD – SAFETY
    Reid played a challenging role in Stanford’s defense as he had to cover shifty slot receivers, hurting his overall grade, though he has the skills to excel in more of a traditional safety role at the next level. He can stay in phase when covering down the field and he has the ball skills to create turnovers, though he must cut down on the big plays and ugly snaps in coverage that hurt his overall production.

    59. JAMES DANIELS, IOWA – CENTER
    Daniels finished this past season as PFF’s third-highest graded center and improved every year of his career. He rarely ‘wow’s,’ but he plays as under control as any center prospect in the draft.

    60. DUKE EJIOFOR, WAKE FOREST – EDGE DEFENDER

    Ejiofor matches up with some of the top prospects in this class size-wise, but doesn’t have near the same juice. The encouraging thing is that he’s trended upwards as a pass-rusher every single year of his career.

    61. ANTONIO CALLAWAY, FLORIDA – WIDE RECEIVER
    Callaway has plenty of off-field issues, but when on the field, he’s an explosive, big-play threat who averaged 7.3 yards after the catch per reception and 13.4 per punt return during his college career.

    62. NATHAN SHEPHERD, FORT HAYES ST. – INTERIOR DEFENDER
    Shepherd’s blend of size, power and athleticism is rare. His competition is obviously a concern, but looked like he belonged in his limited time at the Senior Bowl.

    63. HERCULES MATA’AFA, WASHINGTON STATE – EDGE DEFENDER

    Mata’afa played a grand total of seven snaps this season outside the tackles, but tipping the scales around 250-pounds, the Washington State defender will have to end up there in the NFL. It’s intriguing that he still racked up double-digit sacks from the interior – often blowing past guards and centers at the snap with his lightning quick first step.

    64. CEDRICK WILSON, BOISE STATE – WIDE RECEIVER
    Wilson has the skills to win on the outside or in the slot as he’s quick off the line and after the catch where he forced 22 missed tackles on 140 catches over the last two years. He may not be much of a deep threat after catching 38.7 percent of his 20-plus yard targets last season (112th in the nation), but he has two years of excellent production and the route-running to do damage as a complementary threat.

    65. AUSTIN CORBETT, NEVADA – CENTER
    The Nevada left tackle stepped onto the field as a freshman in 2014 and was already one of the better pass protecting left tackles in the nation. That season, he allowed all of 17 total pressures and has only gotten better since. Corbett is far more technically sound than most small school tackle prospects and could legitimately start in the NFL as a rookie. He likely profiles best to the interior at the next level.

    66. EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN, NOTRE DAME – WIDE RECEIVER
    Brown has excellent size at a listed 6-foot-5 and while he had an inconsistent career, he’s a potential big-play threat after averaging 16.1 yards per reception at Notre Dame. He can use his body to box out smaller defenders, though he still has to work on the nuances of his route-running. If St. Brown can put it all together, he has a chance to emerge as one of the better receivers in the class.

    67. WILL CLAPP, LSU – CENTER
    Clapp has multiple years grading very well in the SEC at both center and guard. That’s an impressive accomplishment in and of itself. Add in some of the best hands in this draft class, and Clapp is ready to start sooner rather than later.

    68. CHRISTIAN KIRK, TEXAS A&M – WIDE RECEIVER
    A former top recruit, Kirk is an explosive playmaker capable of winning with quickness in the slot or his deep speed. He has a knack for getting on top of corners on vertical routes and he’s forced 35 missed tackles on 233 career catches. Kirk’s speed makes him a vertical threat from the slot and his 387 yards on deep passes ranked 14th in the draft class last season.

    70. M.J. STEWART, UNC – SAFETY
    More of a matchup weapon on defense than a true, pure cornerback, Stewart’s NFL future may lie as a kind of hybrid player on defense. The good news is those players are in demand at the moment and his ability to cover the slot as well as match up with receiving weapons like backs and tight ends in the passing game will push his value up. He also played and graded well at the Senior Bowl, which is always a plus as teams see players against elite competition.

    71. TYRELL CROSBY, OREGON – TACKLE
    Crosby is arguably the most physical tackle in the entire class. He’s also another player who has done it on both the left and right side in the college ranks. Crosby’s not going to win any awards for his athleticism, and could ultimately end up at guard, but he’s an easy projection as a run-blocker.

    72. SKAI MOORE, SOUTH CAROLINA – LINEBACKER
    Moore has a lot of negatives working against him, but his play has been excellent in the SEC, which is no small order. His PFF coverage grade of 88.7 was one of the highest in the nation in 2017, one spot above Georgia’s Smith, and his instincts are clearly excellent. He will need to convince NFL teams that he can still produce with a step up in competition given he is both undersized and potentially less athletic than they would like. Missing the entire 2016 season with a herniated disc is also a major injury red flag and he will need to check out medically as well.

    73. ROYCE FREEMAN, OREGON – RUNNING BACK
    Freeman may be one of the most underrated backs in this draft. His 2015 season was spectacular and that overall PFF grade of 92.4 tied for the best single season grade of any back in this class. His 2017 season was a significant bounce back year for him despite some horrible blocking at times from the Oregon offensive line. He caught 80-of-89 passes thrown his way over his college career and is one of the most effective receivers in this running back class.

    74. ARDEN KEY, LSU – EDGE DEFENDER
    True sophomores aren’t supposed to dominate the SEC like Key did in 2016 when he tallied 25 combined sacks and hits. His off-field is obviously a concern, but when the only tackle to come close to slowing you down is former first-rounder Ryan Ramczyk, that’s special.

    75. JOSEY JEWELL, IOWA – LINEBACKER

    Iowa’s Jewell is an all-around linebacker who has graded well in all areas. He doesn’t have the same eye-popping measurables as the players above him in this list, but he has some impressive tape that should get him deserved consideration regardless. He has been a quality coverage linebacker and allowed zero touchdowns in 2017 despite leading the draft class among linebackers with 55 targets on the season. He also had 61 defensive stops, the sixth-most among linebackers in this class, giving him three-down ability at the next level.

    76. DAESEAN HAMILTON, PENN STATE – WIDE RECEIVER
    Hamilton is one of the best all-around receivers in the class due to his route running and ability to create late separation down the field. He had the highest catch rate in the draft class on deep passes last season at 73.3 percent.

    77. TYQUAN LEWIS, OHIO STATE – EDGE DEFENDER
    Lewis may have been overshadowed by some bigger names on the Ohio State defensive front, but he’s a high-level prospect in his own right. Over the past two seasons, he’s generated 35 combined sacks and hits while displaying the ability to rush from anywhere along the defensive line of scrimmage. He was also one of the top performers at the Senior Bowl garnering six pressures in the game.

    78. GREG STROMAN, VIRGINIA TECH – CORNERBACK
    Virginia Tech has sent some quality defensive backs to the NFL in recent seasons and Stroman enters the draft off the back of some sensational coverage numbers. He allowed an NFL passer rating of just 26.8 when targeted in 2017, surrendering just 12 catches all season. Stroman has solid height and length, and multiple seasons of quality coverage grades to make him an intriguing prospect.

    79. MARCELL ATEMAN, OKLAHOMA STATE – WIDE RECEIVER
    Ateman uses his 6-foot-4 frame well, producing on back-shoulder throws and slant routes. He projects as more of a possession receiver and red zone threat after hauling in 320 yards on contested catches, ninth-best in the nation. Ateman doesn’t separate as well as others in the class, but he handles press coverage well and he knows how to uses his size as an asset for quarterbacks willing to give him opportunities to make plays.

  • ButtonShoes

    Pace better not trade back in round 2 today. Lock in to one of Harold Landry, Will Fernandez, Isaiah Oliver, Josh Jackson, Courtland Sutton, or Arden Key.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Arden Key. Wow. D-FENS!

  • That Guy

    DaBearsBlog

    Per my Bears source, the team was not interested in Quenton Nelson.

    I think that perhaps the blog consensus is right–that the team thinks HH can coach up journeymen and non-blue chip draftees. Why blow your wad on a guy who’s already hitting his (albeit very promising) potential, when you can spend a lot less on guys who will be pretty darned good after HH gets his hands on ’em?

    Or imagine this: “Harry, how do you feel about Nelson?” A: He’s a great talent, but just wait until you see what I can do with what we’ve got now.

    • I never got the feeling Nelson was. But that was just a gut instinct on my part.

    • Doc Nitty

      chess soon?

      • NBIT (Not That Other Guy)

        That Guy ain’t me any more.

  • BenderMcLugh

    Did anyone hear Rich Eisen talking while Roquan was walking up to the stage last night? Apparently Fangio hit a hole-in-one earlier in the day, and then he gets his LB. fun!

    • Irish Sweetness

      Just watched it now. Yep. When it’s your day …

  • willbest

    So the Kwait era in Chicago is over. Sad. Still need pass rush, WR and oline

  • BenderMcLugh
    • ButtonShoes

      Courtland Sutton would be OK. I’d rather go defense with the 2nd but if we got Sutton, can’t really complain.

      • Yeah. Feel the same. This is why getting impact FAs is key.

        Allen and Gabriel give us some flexibility to go D which we desperately need in our div/conf

  • BenderMcLugh

    If they stand pat maybe Connor Williams

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/draft/bestavailable/_/position/og

  • catfish44

    2nd pick? i think they’ll try, and prefer to, trade down. if not, will hernanderz, christian kirk, cortland sutton, josh jackson, isaih oliver. landry pershaps, i feel very iffy about him.

  • CanadaBear

    I have no idea if the pick will pan out but I’m not worried about his size. He’s basically the same size as Trevathan and Willis. Someone said he’s Lance Briggs with 4.5 speed. If that’s true, we all will be dancing in the streets. He’s supposed to have some thump and great instincts. With the league being so pass dominant these days, his ability to perform in pass coverage is the key.

    • Roquan said that he’s worked the most on being more physical.
      What I saw on film worried me a bit, namely, if a 320lb OG meets him square on that second level, that’s all she wrote. Roquan does not shed well.

      However, it’s not like he’s a standing target. Roquan does a great job pre-snap diagnosing. Once snapped, he’s off like a cheetah and it’s hard for OGs to catch him clean.

      He has great instincts and closing speed to always be around the ball.

      Our Dline just has to keep him semi-clean. But hey, Lach himself struggled a bit with shedding, esp early on, but the bubble butts of Washington/Traylor kept him clean to run side line to side line.

      Goldman and Hicks will have to do the same.

  • NBIT (Not That Other Guy)

    If this guy works out like Luke Kuechly, it could be the defining selection of Pace’s career. But even if he plays up to the level of someone like Trevathan, that’s a great selection.

    • Luke is a lil bigger. 6’3 240, but Smith is arguably a lil faster.

      I still think Roquan comps more to Kendricks who is an impact LB though perhaps not necessarily DPOY material.

      Though Roquan’s knowledge, instincts and dedication can def push him to that.

      Was impressed by Roquan knowing who Bill George was. Shit, some Bear fans probably don’t even know who he is.

      Smart young man.

    • Doc Nitty

      chess soon? How bout it?

      • NBIT (Not That Other Guy)

        I’m always ready 😉

        • KentuckyBearsFan

          I’m more of a Connect 4 guy.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Thats to complicated, How about Tic-Tac-Toe?

          • rock, paper, scissor guy myself

  • How is Landry still available? Did he kill a baby as a teen? Some claim there’s medicals on him.
    Luckily for us, there’s still good options at pass rush. Arden Key is another one.

    As for CB, Oliver seems like a great fit. I thought SEA was def going to draft him last night. Long and good in press.

    Ro-JO should go at the top of the 2nd, but he’d be very tempting if there for us.

    There’s plenty of Olinemen available. Reeaally wish we had that 3rd. Think we can trade down and still pick up a decent one. Hernandez is the obvious call, but isn’t he much more of a manblocker mauler ? (As opposed to a zone blocker)

    I still think a dark horse OT project is Brian O’neill who may even be there in the 3rd (if we trade down)

    Was listening to Hub, and he pointed out that teams were trading down all around us, so a logical assumption is that Pace could’ve traded down, but he preferred his guy in Smith.

    • A few more names that should go early.

      OT Orlando Brown
      OLB Okonorowko
      DT Hurst

      • Tortured Bear fan

        I’m fine with any of them, but Landry, Hernandez, Sutton or Jackson would be the cherry on the cake.

    • NBIT (Not That Other Guy)

      San Francisco has two picks at the top of the 3rd round and doesn’t pick again till the bottom of the 2nd. We could probably pick up a 3rd round pick in exchange for swapping 2nd rounders with them.

      We’d have to move pretty far down to pick up an extra third round pick at this point. Most likely scenario would be a team giving us a third in exchange for one of our fourth rounders and having us move down in the 2nd as well.

      But there’s quite a bit of talent left at this point that Pace probably won’t want to miss on. If Landry or Carter is there, I’d stay put. There’s a lot of talent in the middle of the draft at WR and G. There will be players available there to target.

      • And if Pace has re-coded his algorithms, he may actually trade UP to land his win-now player.

        Rapsheet last night reported that the Bears were trying to get back into the late 1st.

        I’m guessing it was for Landry (likely to get that 5th yr option). There’s a good chance that player is still available, and Pace will pull the trigger to move up for that mystery player still.

    • BerwynBomber

      I honestly like Oliver and J. Jackson over every CB in the draft up to and including Ward. I feared MIN, GB or even DET getting one of them.

      Not sure about Landry. But yes, he probably had the biggest fall in the entire draft.

      Decent point by Hubster.

    • EnderWiggin

      Did Smith pass the 4ever test? Automatic upgrade to Kwaitowski?

      • Oh, he’s a def upgrade over Kwiat (though that’s not saying much)

        I like Smith. He has everything a LB needs EXCEPT size, long levers, and shedding.

        For that reason he wasn’t as good as Keuchly coming out of college .

        The hope is his other strengths will make up for those shortcomings, but teams even in college (like Oklahoma) schemed him out relevance, and my fear is that the NFL will do the same.

        That being said, that would mean teams having to run more, and the Bears have been stout vs the run, and if I have to take my chance between Vadgers or whatever HB they trot out there, I’ll take HB every time.

        If Roquan can get a lil stronger, explosive and learn to disengage a bit more, then he has a chance to be Patrick Willis IMO.

        But realistically I sorta see him more as an Alec Ogletree.

        Edmunds def had the higher upside, but Smith is lightyears ahead now with a higher floor.

        For that reason, it’s probably Pace’s “safest” pick to date.

        I’m ok with it. I’m probably not as excited as some others cuz I have some reservations which will only go away when the pads come on, but I’m def looking forward to seeing him ball.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “More DaBearsBlog Retweeted C
    You know, @ChicagoBears should start selling this hat again in a flex fit style. It would sell big.”

    I still have that one in my collection.

  • That Guy

    Witten announced he’s retiring. Now the only guy Dak has to throw to is Zeke. Look for Dallas to go WR, and potentially look to trade down to pick up more depth they desperately need catching the ball.

  • Juan Stone

    “Rock On”!!!

    Finally, a 1st round draft pick ALL Bears fans can get excited about. Its been a long, long time and it’s feels right. More than right.

  • Could we have a no white linebacker draft this year?;

    #NoWastedPicks

  • Sactowns#1

    Interior lineman would be my preference followed by edge rusher.

  • Apparently, Dan Durkin has a good breakdown on Roquan (if you’re able to read it)

    https://theathletic.com/331745/2018/04/26/durkin-roquan-smith-a-perfect-fit-for-vic-fangios-defense/

    Was listening to him on 710.

    Brought up some good points, how the Traylor/Washington blueprint to gobble up blockers isn’t really Fangio.

    His Dline sometimes are two gap, or one gap, so sometimes it’s filling the area, other attacking the player.

    In other words, Roquan may have to contend with blockers more than Lach behind the bubble butts.

    Other concern. The Oklahoma game in which the HC specifically went to trips to keep UGA D in nickle where the SAM had to schooch over towards the WR, moving Roquan dead center at MLB.

    Then, Oklahoma ran straight at Roquan and wiped him out of plays

    Something to keep in mind since you know the Puke and Meows and even Queens run a lot of trip sets, though in that scenario, if I were Fangio, I’d make Tre the MIKE and Roquan the SAM.

    Or maybe even go big set, so instead of Bullard, maybe another big boy at RE, or put Hicks there to shield Roquan.

    Any ways, some Xs and Os stuff to think about, but won’t really have to worry about that till PS.

    • Roquan will play Jack in this D, IMO. Trevathan and Kwit both fit better as the Mike.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Kwit is starting alongside Smith in 2019. $7.4M in cap savings if he’s cut after this year.

      • Isn’t Tre only 27 though? That’s still relatively young, though $7M does seem pricey.

        Kwiat is a JAG. We saw that last yr.

        It’s like waiting for Shea to become a stud at LB all over again.

        • The problem with Trevathan is that he’s missed time for 4 straight years now, including only playing 21 of 32 games in Chicago. If that continues this year, and you can save $7M+ by cutting him, that’s tempting.

          And having an average guy next to (hopefully) a stud like Smith is just fine.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis
    • KentuckyBearsFan

      I wish Jay the best. I mean got damn the best quarterbacks we’ve had the past 20 years are Jay Cutler, Rex Grossman, and Kyle Orton.

    • “Per Rapoport, Cutler “may be coming to a reality show near you, as will his wife [former Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari].”

      Ha!

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    I can’t believe Pace messed up another 1st round of a draft.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    New thread if anyone cares

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