Cleat Geeks

The IDP Geek Huddle: Roquan Smith

Chicago Bears Linebacker Roquan Smith


Drafted: 8th overall

Team Defense: 3-4 Base

State of Team’s Offence: Rebuild

Rookie Tier: #1

Rookie IDP Draft: Wave #1

All IDP Position Draft: Late Wave #2

Potential 2018 Position Tier: #2

Position Competition Level: High

Potential 2018 Combined Tackle Range: 80-100

Play Making Ability Potential: High

Dynasty Value: High


Why he has the potential to succeed at the pro level in 2018:

  1. Simply said, he has the right situation on top of the right skills as a player.
  2. An Atlanta Falcons Deion Jones “clone” with coverage skills and speed to get from sideline to sideline.
  3. His draft status as a top ten pick will give him every opportunity to learn on the field as a starter with the first unit.
  4. With the Bears offense in transition in the attempt to find their “mojo” on the field with a second-year quarterback and supporting cast could struggle to a point ensuring plenty of snaps for Smith and the defense.
  5. The other “main” supporting inside linebacker is veteran Danny Trevathan who has struggled to stay healthy over his career.

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Why he may not reach his potential at the pro level in 2018:

  1. The Bears defensive scheme.
  2. The lack of talent on the defensive line and at outside linebacker for the Bears overall.
  3. If inside linebacker Danny Trevathan would stay healthy for the larger portion of the 2018 season.
  4. The development of third-year inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.
  5. His physical stature.


The “Brain” Take:

All indication should be that Smith is one of the two rookie IDP players we should consider for our IDP purposes if needing the chance to hit a home run with a rookie in 2018. There is nothing not to like about his situation’s potential. Even if there are a couple schematics that should be concerning, but again not to the point that he is shied away from as the first choice IDP rookie off the board. His 6’ 1” 236 lbs may not translate as a WILB/MILB so easily in year one as one may hope. That is a very “slight of build” as a rookie in my opinion as an ILB that will likely need to shed blocks a bit more in the 3-4 scheme compared to a 4-3 WLB/MLB. He’ll likely have to rely heavily on his instincts and that great speed to produce in the scheme at the pro level until he adds some more muscle mass. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in Chicago. The likely outcome from my point of view would be to have Smith as the starting WILB in more coverage duties and have Trevathan hold down the MILB for more of the run stopping and block shedding in 2018. And we shouldn’t forget Kwiatkoski who has flashed when healthy as a starter. The advantage for Smith is that Kwiatkoski doesn’t fit the WILB position nearly as well as he does as the MILB. This has to get us wondering exactly how the Bears will utilize Smith in 2018. His draft status should guarantee it is as a starter in one form or another. If he can find and hold his nitch for the Bears his first season we should see a very solid tier 2 type linebacker with upside.



The “Gut” Take:

I believe the concerns are real and that in 2018 the best we can hope for out of Smith in that scheme and with Trevathan and Kwiatkoski is he can push to win the WILB. I like Smith more as a dynasty player than one in 2018 with the different scenarios. If Trevathan can stay healthy, and he has a huge incentive to do so in the third year of a four year contract, the Bears are not going to bench the good veteran. This is the first year for him to make some real cash at $5.8 million and to set up the same amount in 2019 after only making just under $4 million combined in both his first two years of the contract. He does have a potential “out” in 2018 in his contract the Bears could exercise, but this is highly unlikely at this point and time with the depth of inside linebackers on the roster. Kwiatkoski is firmly in the third year of his rookie contract and shown growth as a 4th round pick each year so far. As for Smith, as much as being selected the 8th overall should mean, my gut is telling me that in this year’s draft it isn’t as relevant as most years. The gut tells me when there were 15 defensive players selected in the first round that there was a lack of talent overall to be had and concluding that some players in this years class would have simply gone in lower rounds in other years. I think Smith will be lucky to max out at his floor of potentially combined tackles at 80 total. Dare I say a possible time share among all three linebackers? I do like him enough to take him off the board 2nd overall, but in 2018 it was a fine line between him and the next player at 3 that I’ll be writing about soon.


My suggested order for rookie IDPs off the board.

  1. Tremaine Edmunds
  2. Roquan Smith
  3. (soon)
  4. (soon)
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?


Missed any of the ten? Check it all out and more HERE.


Thanks as always for reading and please find me on Twitter for everything IDP @HBogart27.


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