Not every college athlete gets the honor and privilege to hear their name called on Draft Day. But a young man from Macon County Georgia did on April 26th, 2018. He was picked by the Chicago Bears to be the next linebacker to soar like the franchise Hall of Fame greats in Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, and Brian Urlacher.
With the 8th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Bears selected Roquan Smith from the University of Georgia. The cheers from fans everywhere were deafening and the dream of the return of the Monsters of the Midway was just within their reach.
With rookie mini-camp complete and OTAs underway, the Chicago Bears are slowly putting together a well-balanced team. Ryan Pace and company have done their due diligence in signing key players that will have an immediate impact on the team.
But it’s those additional spots, the supplemental players that will have to be ready to step in on a moment’s notice. Who will make a statement in training camp that they belong on this team? Who will shine when it matters and when it counts?
It has been said by many analysts, writers, and fans that general manager Ryan Pace had to be aggressive in this draft. The Chicago Bears could not afford to continue to spiral into the NFC oblivion.
It was imperative that they drafted key players and address positions that would help the Bears compete within the division of the NFC North. Pace came through and he started with the best linebacker in the draft in Roquan Smith in the first round, center James Daniels and wide receiver Anthony Millerin the second round.
All the questions and panic are over. The Chicago Bears made it very clear last night that the rise of the Monsters of the Midway starts with inside linebacker Roquan Smith. As the eighth overall pick in the first round, Smith brings an incredible burst off the seam that reminds me of one of the great Bears linebackers Mike Singletary. A little undersized for a linebacker, but his quickness and speed make up for it. It’s a perfect fit for the Bears.
Smith is fluid and explosive in space which makes him perfect in the Jack position as an inside linebacker. He was praised by Georgia head coach Kirby Smart as being a “tremendous leader”, which is what Singletary became on the Bears defense. Under the veteran leadership of Akiem Hicks, he will gain the respect and pride of his fellow teammates.