3 Roquan Smith replacements for the Chicago Bears in 2023

Chicago Bears (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Chicago Bears, Brenton Cox
Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Drafting Brenton Cox gives the Chicago Bears a young, futuristic replacement for Roquan Smith

Lastly, if the Bears opt to replace Smith via the 2023 NFL Draft, they have a myriad of options. Let’s say they are looking at the second or third rounds in order to do so. If that’s the case, then Florida Gators linebacker Brenton Cox would be an excellent selection there.

Cox plays outside linebacker (more so an edge) for the Gators and is one of those types who ends up near the end of the play almost every snap. He finds himself in the back field stopping runs on many occasions, and is also an above-average pass rusher.

He isn’t as quick as Smith (not many are) but can still cover a lot of ground in a hurry. Although he identifies primarily as a pass rusher, Cox should end up being quick enough to play outside linebacker and give the Bears a similar type to what Roquan Smith brought to the table; a guy who can both rush the passer in a variety of ways and also stop the run.

According to Walter Football, Cox projects to run his 40-yard dash in the 4.6 range. By comparison, Smith ran a 4.52.

Related Story. Bears: A post-trade deadline 2023 mock draft. light

So far during the 2022 campaign, Cox has tallied 35 tackles in eight games, including 8.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and a pass defensed. The senior standout could end up being a great pick for the Bears who are looking for a quicker weak side linebacker, and would bring an element of toughness to the group overall.