Chicago Bears: Making the case for this undrafted gem

The Chicago Bears had a nice haul of undrafted free agents. Rashad Smith is an unknown player who could ascend during training camp.

The Chicago Bears undrafted free-agent hauls lately never go without some excitement. While most are rightfully intrigued by Khalil Mack‘s little brother Ledarius, a name that is going overlooked is at a position of strength.

Linebacker Rashad Smith starred at Florida Atlantic for four years. Ryan Pace and his scouts are very familiar with the school after spending lots of time with two runnings in Devin Singletary and former Chicago Bear Kerrith Whyte. When you are a scout looking at prospects that are coming out in that year’s draft, you still need to do your homework on future players.

Rashad Smith was the Boca Raton Bowl Defensive MVP. Smith is listed at 6’1 220 pounds but played around 215. The Chicago Bears linebacker core consists of Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Josh Woods, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Devante Bond, Rashad Smith, and Keandre Jones.

The weight that Rashad Smith plays with could scare some away, but fans should remember that Josh Woods was signed as an undrafted free agent who was a safety in college. According to draftscout.com, Josh Woods was listed at 6’2 211 pounds. Woods is now listed at 6’1 236 pounds on the Chicago Bears official website.

Smith won’t likely have a massive role with the Chicago Bears early, but he has lots to offer as far as being instinctive and a sound tackler. Smith finished his college career with 302 total tackles, 11 sacks, and six interceptions. Smith was a team captain for Florida Atlantic University during his 2019 season. Without having a Pro Day, there isn’t much information about his athletic profile out there.

When you put on the tape of Rashad Smith, you see a rangy, instinctive player. He does tend to get washed out from blockers getting to the second level, but the effort to get through the traffic is there. Smith is fundamentally a box safety that plays linebacker.

Smith and another player, the Chicago Bears, showed interest in (Antonio Brooks Jr) remind me of Reshad Jones. Try not to think of them as a safety since Chuck Pagano has made it clear that he wants rangy ball-hawking safeties. A lot might think about Jones’s 21 interceptions over the last 10 years, but it’s the 94+ total tackles and aggressive downhill styled run-stopping force Jones was that should stand out more.

Colby Guy, a writer who covers FIU, talked about how Smith can drop into coverage very well and has a lot during his 2018 season. Smith had four interceptions in 2018. Guy also shared how Smith had multiple roles on defense, much like Isaiah Simmons.

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Don’t get too excited; I am not comparing Smith’s talent to Simmons. Smith is just uniquely versatile on defense. Mind you, this is just a college prospect, and he was undrafted. But, so were many other players. It all starts with Smith getting the attention of the coaching staff and getting on the active roster, then improving each year to playing to his fullest potential.

 

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