Chicago Bears All-22 Review: Nick Kwiatoski speed exposed
After reviewing the video from the Chicago Bears first loss to the Green Bay Packers, it was clear that Nick Kwiatoski needs to be replaced by Roquan Smith
While Roquan Smith only played eight snaps on Sunday night, he was dynamic. His eight snaps, along with the hype attached to his name have already brought a discussion about him entering into the starting lineup. While I wrote a post saying that Nick Kwiatoski may not have done anything to lose the job in Week One, I will admit I was mistaken.
After review of the video further, he showed a lack of speed that was exposed and calls for Roquan Smith to enter the lineup immediately.
First, the team has Kwiatoski in the run and chase role. This is no surprise, that is the role Roquan Smith will fill into, and Trevathan has always been a stalwart in the box. However, this means seeing crossers from quick running backs, slot receivers, and tight ends. This proved to be an issue for Kwiatoski who gave up four receptions for 41 yards. He was allowing over 10 yards per catch and allowed a completion every time he was targeted. It was not a pretty performance in the air for Kwiatkoski.
It was not pretty against the run either. The Packers were able to stretch plays to the outside, and the third year linebacker was unable to contain them.
On the play linked here, the Packers run a sweep to the left edge. Nick Kwiatkoski disengages from his blocker, but not quick enough to get to the edge. You can see he is just a step slow as Jamaal Williams runs by him.
Another example of his speed failing him shows here. The Chicago Bears run a stretch to the right side, and Kwiatkoski reads it perfectly. He shoots the gap but again is just a step slow, as Jamaal Williams bursts free.
While I cannot guarantee that Roquan Smith would have made both of those stops, I will see that the speed from his college tape does suggest that he would have had a better go at it.
Nick Kwiatkoski is a sound player. In the example highlighted he evaded a tackle and read a stretch play. However, he has athletic limitations that Roquan Smith was drafted to fill. Bet on Roquan Smith starting Monday Night.