Ranking top 10 most valuable Chicago Bears players in 2021

Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith
Chicago Bears (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

3. Chicago Bears LB Roquan Smith

Last Year: 9

From nine last year into a locked-in spot in the top three is exactly the type of rising that was expected from Roquan Smith when he was drafted eighth overall. To be fair to the detractors, the first two seasons did not go as planned. They were fine by most accounts, but he had a few holes in his game and was not stepping in as an emotional and vocal leader in the locker room.

In 2020, a lot of the questions went away. He became a beast at run and pursuit and the team felt comfortable letting him wear the green dot. Now, he is stepping up this offseason as the locker room leader who is leading practices and being the most vocal player on the field.

Eddie Jackson is a stud, but they drafted Roquan Smith with the intention that this would be his defense. Entering 2021, we may fully see the defense build its shape around the linebacker in the middle.