PFF: Roquan Smith plays career best game with Chicago Bears
Roquan Smith played up to his draft potential for the Chicago Bears Sunday
Roquan Smith had been satisfactory for the Chicago Bears since his rookie season. No one can point to him and say that he is the problem. At the same time, you can argue that he has not quite lived up to being a top ten pick type of player.
He has made tackles, but typically after the catch, after a few yards, not behind the line of scrimmage. Smith always fills his gaps but has been hit or miss at finishing the play at the point of contact. It has been easy to be satisfied but wanting more. On Sunday, we saw a locked and loaded Smith and a player who we have waited to see for three years.
On Sunday, we saw what Smith can do at his peaks, and why he was drafted so high. Smith was everywhere on Sunday. It does not even compile in the stat sheet, but seven tackles included three that went for negative plays.
Smith was 4-5 in coverage but allowed eight yards. The play below is an example of the type of motor Smith was playing with. He pursues the line, reads the screen, and changes direction. From there he beats the lineman with speed, dips under him, and makes the tackle for nothing. This is what Bears fans wanted, a complete attack of the receiver the second he catches the ball.
The stat sheet cannot show it, but according to PFF, this was the best game of his career. He had graded out higher than any other performance, mainly aided by his elite coverage grades.
PFF can back it up, but watching the game you could feel it. Smith was moving faster than usual and was attacking more often as well. He was relentless, and you could feel his energy watching the game.
The next step is consistency. We have seen a consistent player, but we have not seen the peaks that he showed on Sunday. If he can consistently show those peaks, we are talking about an elite football player and the player who the Bears wanted with the eighth overall pick.