Roquan Smith
refer to caption
Smith in 2018
No. 58 – Chicago Bears
Position:Inside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1997-04-08) April 8, 1997 (age 25)
Mount Vernon, Georgia
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Macon County
(Montezuma, Georgia)
College:Georgia (2015–2017)
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Total tackles:524
Sacks:14.0
Forced fumbles:1
Fumble recoveries:1
Interceptions:5
Pass deflections:17
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Roquan Daevon Smith (born April 8, 1997) is an American football linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Georgia. Smith became the first Georgia Bulldog to win the Butkus Award.[1]

Early years

Smith attended Macon County High School in Montezuma, Georgia, where he played football for the Bulldogs.[2] He originally committed to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to play college football but changed his commitment to the University of Georgia.[3][4]

College career

While at the University of Georgia, Smith played college football under head coaches Mark Richt and Kirby Smart. As a true freshman at Georgia in 2015, Smith played in 12 games and recorded 20 tackles.[5] As a sophomore in 2016, he started 10 of 13 games, recording 95 tackles.[6][7]

In 2017, Smith was named MVP of the SEC Championship Game, as well as SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.[8] He also became the first Georgia Bulldog to win the Butkus Award. Smith decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and entered the 2018 NFL Draft.[1]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 0+78 in
(1.85 m)
236 lb
(107 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.51 s 1.58 s 2.63 s 33+12 in
(0.85 m)
9 ft 9 in
(2.97 m)
All values from NFL Draft[9][10]
Smith with Khalil Mack, DeAndre Houston-Carson, and Akiem Hicks of the Chicago Bears in 2018
Smith with Khalil Mack, DeAndre Houston-Carson, and Akiem Hicks of the Chicago Bears in 2018

Smith was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the eighth overall pick in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.[11]

His contract signing was significantly delayed due to contract disputes between the Bears and Smith's agency CAA Football over language in his rookie contract stating whether his guaranteed money would be reclaimed by the team if he was suspended due to the NFL's new rule outlawing contact leading with the helmet. CAA argued for wording that would protect Smith's guaranteed earnings, while the Bears preferred for decisions to be determined by the league, a situation that was exacerbated by skepticism surrounding the rule and the frequency of tackling in Smith's role.[12] On August 14, the Bears signed Smith to a fully guaranteed four-year, $18.47 million contract that included a signing bonus of $11.51 million.[13] He was the last first-round pick in his draft class to sign with his team.[14][15]

2018 season

Roquan Smith in a game against the Seattle Seahawks
Roquan Smith in a game against the Seattle Seahawks

In his NFL debut in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers on NBC Sunday Night Football, Smith recorded a sack on the Packers' quarterback DeShone Kizer on his first career snap.[16] In Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins, Smith made 13 tackles.[17] In Week 9 against the Buffalo Bills, Smith made 13 tackles as the Bears won the game 41–9.[18][19] In Week 10 against the Detroit Lions, he made 10 tackles and sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford, while the Bears won 34–22,[20] while also leading the team in tackles in both of these weeks.[21] In Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, he made 11 tackles and sacked quarterback Stafford in a 23–16 win.[22][23] In Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams, Smith made six tackles and recorded his first career interception off Jared Goff and returned the ball 22 yards to the four-yard line as the Bears won 15–6.[24][25][26] In Week 15 against the Green Bay Packers, Smith made 10 tackles in a 24–17 win.[27] In Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers, Smith made nine tackles and sacked Nick Mullens in a 14–9 win.[28] On December 30, during a Week 17 game against the Minnesota Vikings, Smith had six tackles as the Bears defeated the Vikings 24–10.[29]

On January 6, 2019, in the Bears' 16–15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Wild Card playoff game, Smith led the team with seven tackles and made an interception off Nick Foles.[30]

Smith finished the season with 121 tackles, five sacks, five passes defended, and one interception. He received an overall grade of 67.4 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked him as the 39th highest grade among all qualifying linebackers,[31] and was selected as Pro Bowl alternate.[32]

2019 season

In Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, Smith recorded a team high 13 tackles as the Bears won 16–14.[33] In Week 11 against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football, Smith recorded a team high 11 tackles and intercepted a pass thrown by Jared Goff in the 17–7 loss.[34] In Week 13 against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, Smith recorded a team high 15 tackles and sacked rookie quarterback David Blough twice in the 24–20 win.[35] On December 9, 2019, Smith was placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn pectoral in Week 14.[36]

2020 season

In Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans, Smith recorded a team-high 11 tackles and sacked Ryan Tannehill once during the 24–17 loss.[37] In Week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, Smith recorded a team-high 14 tackles and sacked Kirk Cousins once during the 19–13 loss.[38] In Week 14 against the Houston Texans, Smith led the team with 12 tackles and two sacks during the 36–7 win.[39]

During the Bears' 41–17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16, Smith intercepted Mike Glennon twice to become the first Bears player with multiple interceptions in a game since Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in 2019. Smith was also the team's first linebacker to achieve the feat since Lance Briggs in 2008.[40][41] The Bears made it back to the playoffs, for the second time in Smith's career. However, he was inactive in their appearance, a 21–9 loss against the New Orleans Saints, after suffering an elbow injury in the final game of the season.[42][43]

After the season he was elected for the first time to the Sporting News first-team All-Pro team that was voted on by NFL players and executives,[44] and to Associated Press's second-team All-Pro.[45]

2021 season

On April 27, 2021, the Bears exercised the fifth-year option on Smith's contract,[46] which guarantees a salary of $9.7 million for the 2022 season.[47] On September 19, Smith intercepted a pass by Joe Burrow and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown in a 20–17 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.[48] On November 8, Smith recorded a sack alongside 12 total tackles in a 29–27 Monday Night Football loss which saw the Bears fall to a 3–6 record on the season.[49] On November 21, Smith recorded a career-high total of 17 tackles, two of which were tackles for losses, in a 16–14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.[50] It was the most tackles by a Bears player in a single game since Brian Urlacher had 19 in 2006.[51] Smith finished the season with one interception and 163 total tackles, the fifth-most in the NFL.[52] He was named to NFL.com's All-Pro team and the Associated Press' second team All-Pro.[52][53]

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck Sfty PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2018 CHI 16 14 121 89 32 5.0 0 5 1 22 22.0 22 0 0 0
2019 CHI 12 12 101 66 35 2.0 0 2 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2020 CHI 16 16 139 98 41 4.0 0 7 2 16 8.0 11 0 1 1
2021 CHI 17 17 163 95 68 3.0 0 3 1 53 53.0 53 1 0 0
Career 61 59 524 348 176 14.0 0 17 5 91 18.2 53 1 1 1

Playoffs

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck Sfty PD Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2018 CHI 1 1 7 6 1 0.0 0 1 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2020 CHI 0 0 Did not play due to injury
Career 1 1 7 6 1 0.0 0 1 1 0 0.0 0 0 0 0

NFL career statistics

Personal life

On May 8, 2018, nearly two weeks after being drafted, it was reported that Smith's car was burglarized in Athens, Georgia, where a team-issued iPad along with some of Smith's personal belongings, including his college jerseys, helmet, and awards were stolen from his car. However, the next day, the stolen items were recovered.[54][55]

References

  1. ^ a b Rittenberg, Adam (January 15, 2018). "Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith to enter NFL draft". ESPN.com.
  2. ^ Seibel, Ron (February 2, 2015). "Smith about to give Macon County its big moment". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  3. ^ "Four-star LB Roquan Smith commits to Georgia without LOI". Sports Illustrated. February 13, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Carvell, Michael (February 13, 2015). "Roquan Smith: UGA beats UCLA for historic recruit". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Paschall, David (August 4, 2016). "Active Roquan Smith impressing Georgia coach Kirby Smart". Times Free Press. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Roquan Smith garners high expectations, bold comparison ahead of junior season". Macon.com. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  7. ^ Paschall, David (July 20, 2017). "Roquan Smith ready to build off Georgia's 2016 finish". Times Free Press. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "Georgia, Auburn split top awards on AP All-SEC football team". Associated Press. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "Roquan Smith Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  10. ^ "Roquan Smith, Georgia, ILB, 2018 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  11. ^ "Roquan Smith selected No. 8 overall by Bears". NFL.com. April 26, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  12. ^ Campbell, Rich (July 28, 2018). "Roquan Smith's holdout centers on new NFL helmet-contact rule". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Spotrac.com: Roquan Smith contract". spotrac.com. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  14. ^ "Roquan Smith ends holdout, signs contract". www.chicagobears.com. August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Knoblauch, Austin (August 13, 2018). "Roquan Smith agrees to $18.4M rookie deal with Bears". NFL.com. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  16. ^ Finley, Patrick (September 9, 2018). "Roquan Smith debut: Bears rookie LB posts sack on first NFL snap". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  17. ^ Stankevitz, JJ (October 15, 2018). "Bears grades: Defense falls flat, and a longer look at Matt Nagy's decision-making". NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved October 17, 2018. Roquan Smith racked up 13 tackles...
  18. ^ Eurich, Matt (November 4, 2018). "5 Bears up, 5 Bears down vs. Bills". 247sports.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  19. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Ties season high in tackles". CBSSports.com. November 4, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  20. ^ Eurich, Matt (November 11, 2018). "Allen Robinson dominates in Bears win over Lions". 247sports.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  21. ^ Jahns, Adam L. (November 11, 2018). "Welcome back, Mack: Bears OLB Khalil Mack stars in return with two sacks". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 12, 2018. And linebacker Roquan Smith led the Bears in tackles for the second game in a row with 10, which included a sack on a blitz.
  22. ^ Eurich, Matt (November 22, 2018). "Bears players react to Thanksgiving Day win". 247sports.com. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  23. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Explodes in Thursday's win". CBSSports.com. November 22, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Cohen, Jay (December 10, 2018). "Goff, Rams shut down by Bears in 15-6 loss". AP News. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  25. ^ Eurich, Matt (December 10, 2018). "Bears defense dominates Rams in big Sunday Night Football win". 247sports.com. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  26. ^ Perez, Bryan (December 10, 2018). "Roquan Smith has something in common with Brian Urlacher after Wk 14 INT". Bears Wire. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  27. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Reaches double-digit tackles again". CBSSports.com. December 16, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  28. ^ Jahns, Adam L. (December 24, 2018). "Film Study: Five takeaways from the Bears' 14-9 win against the 49ers". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 24, 2019. Smith was everywhere again. He led the Bears with nine total tackles. His sack of Mullens in the third quarter on second-and-eight also deterred a 49ers drive.
  29. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Finishes amazing rookie season". CBSSports.com. December 31, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  30. ^ Kelly, Brad (January 7, 2019). "Rookie Takeaways: Wild Card Sunday". The Draft Network. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  31. ^ "Pro Football Focus: Roquan Smith". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  32. ^ "The Bears will deservingly be well-represented at the 2019 Pro Bowl". RSN. December 19, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  33. ^ "Pineiro's 53-yard field goal lifts Bears past Broncos 16-14". ESPN.com. Associated Press. September 15, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  34. ^ "Gurley, Brown help Rams ground out 17-7 win over Bears". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 17, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  35. ^ "Trubisky's 3rd TD pass lifts Bears to 24-20 win over Lions". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 28, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  36. ^ Alper, Josh (December 9, 2019). "Roquan Smith will miss rest of year with torn pectoral". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  37. ^ "Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans - November 8th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  38. ^ "Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears - November 16th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  39. ^ Kane, Colleen (December 13, 2020). "Khalil Mack gives the Chicago Bears defense an early spark as they wreak havoc on the depleted Houston Texans: 'Whole team feeds off him when he makes big plays'". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved December 19, 2020. Smith had 12 tackles, two sacks and three quarterback hits.
  40. ^ Smith, Nathan (December 28, 2020). "Inside Slant: Smith continues breakout season". Chicago Bears. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  41. ^ Barbieri, Alyssa (December 28, 2020). "20 crazy stats from Bears' 41-17 win vs. Jaguars in Week 16". USA Today. Bears Wire. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  42. ^ "Roquan Smith, Darnell Mooney Downgraded to Out for Bears' Playoff Tilt Against Saints". NBC Chicago. January 10, 2021. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  43. ^ "Wild Card - Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints - January 10th, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  44. ^ Iyer, Vinnie (January 21, 2021). "NFL All-Pro Team: How NFL head coaches voted for Sporting News' roster in 2020". Sporting News. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  45. ^ Mayer, Larry (January 8, 2021). "Patterson chosen AP first-team All-Pro". chicagobears.com. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  46. ^ Alper, Josh (April 27, 2021). "Bears exercise Roquan Smith's 2022 option". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  47. ^ Lieser, Jason (April 27, 2021). "Bears exercise fifth-year option on LB Roquan Smith for 2022: report". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  48. ^ "Roquan Smith 2021 Touchdown Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  49. ^ "Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers - November 8th, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  50. ^ "Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears - November 21st, 2021". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  51. ^ Chamberlain, Gene (November 22, 2021). "Big Numbers Mean Little to These Bears". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 6, 2022.
  52. ^ a b Shapiro, Alex (January 12, 2022). "Roquan Smith named to NFL.com All-Pro Team". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 13, 2022.
  53. ^ Mayer, Larry (January 14, 2022). "Bears selected". Chicago Bears. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  54. ^ Patra, Kevin (May 8, 2018). "Roquan Smith had Bears-issued iPad stolen from car". NFL.com. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  55. ^ Teope, Herbie (May 9, 2018). "Roquan Smith recovers most items after robbery". NFL.com. Retrieved May 9, 2018.