How has Chicago Bears top ten pick Roquan Smith looked in his first four games with the Chicago Bears?
With the Chicago Bears bye week coming at the quarter point of the Chicago Bears season, it was a good time to look through the first four games and evaluate how some of the Chicago Bears have done. This post will assess their play and protect a grade from their first four games based on expectations.
Today, we look at Roquan Smith
Quarterbacks are 10-13 when targeting Roquan Smith for one touchdown and no interceptions. While that does not sound good, Smith has also given up just 54 yards, 4.2 yards per target.
Against the run, we already have posts from Week One and Week Two breaking down his performance. So, this will be an extensive look at the last two games. Roquan Smith has consistently shown a more impressive than expected ability to shed blocks. He did it in the first two games and completely dominated John Wetzel at the second level in the play linked here.
Wetzel is a backup tackle trying to take on Smith at the second level. Smith gets his hands on Wetzel, tosses him aside and goes about his business.
His speed and understanding have been as impressive, if not more than his ability to shed blocks. Take the play linked for example. The guard, number 77, Caleb Benenoch is looking to push Jonathan Bullard, then quickly get to the second level to pick up Roquan Smith.
However, Roquan Smith sees that and is moving. He sees the hole and beats the guard and the running back to their spots.
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The play linked here shows how tuned in Smith is. Watch as the player motions, Smith and Danny Trevathan both signal for the shift at the exact time. Smith is processing this as fast as Trevathan, and the duo is completely prepared for what is coming.
To get this type of understanding that features presnap adjustments, and beating lineman to their spot in his first four games is exciting.
He is giving up a lot of receptions. However, a lot of those are situations where the team has a lead, and he is surrendering short yards. His ability to close and tackle shows in his yards per target rate despite the high completion rate.
Against the run, he has been dynamic. He has processed fast, reacted fast, and has shown more power and better block shedding ability than advertised. Remember when people were concerned about him missing snaps in training camp?