Chicago Bears

As NFL rookie minicamps begin, Georgia’s draft picks face new challenges

Roquan Smith

Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Roquan Smith (Georgia) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number eight overall pick to the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

NFL rookie minicamps got underway this week, and recently-drafted former college athletes from all over the country are already looking to find roles on their new teams. This year, six Georgia players were taken in the draft, ranging from rounds one all the way to seven. Here’s a quick look at how each of those players might fit in with the team that selected them.

Roquan Smith – Chicago Bears – Round 1, Pick 8

Smith is the second Georgia linebacker the Bears have taken as a top 10 selection in the last three years joining Leonard Floyd from the 2016 draft. Just like Floyd did then, Smith fills an immediate need.

On a defense that quietly finished among the 10 best teams in the league in both yards and points allowed per game, the only glaring deficiency from last season’s Bears defense was a second starting-caliber inside linebacker to play next to Danny Trevathan.

Smith — the 2017 Butkus Award winner who racked up 137 total tackles and 6.5 sacks his senior year — has the speed, athletic ability and coverage capability to play on all three downs for Chicago, and should be expected to be a day-one starter.

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