1. Roquan Smith
Roquan Smith’s 2019 season will be interesting. Coming out of Georgia, all throughout the 2018 NFL Draft Process, Smith was pegged as being an “instant contributor.” Basically, what this meant was that Smith would step in and make an impact from day one.
While the Bears dealt with contract issues which held Smith out of the start of training camp, when he played, he performed like a seasoned veteran. The attributes Smith brings to the table make him an ideal fit at the inside linebacker position in today’s NFL.
His sideline-to-sideline speed is what makes him the most attractive. He’s able to turn his hips quickly, change direction and bring down ball carriers within the blink of an eye.
Not only is Smith a budding football player, but he produces excellent numbers as well. During his rookie campaign, Smith had 121 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and five quarterbacks hits.
It seemed as if he was in on a tackle nearly every snap that the Bears defense played.
Currently, in the NFC, there are two very dominant linebackers: Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner. The exciting thing about Smith is that he has a chance to join Kuechly and Wagner as two of the NFC’s dominant linebackers.
As Smith enters his second season with the Bears, he appears as if he will become the second most dominant player on the Bears defense, behind Khalil Mack. As of right now, if Smith does breakout in 2019, then he should earn his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2020.