Did Matt Eberflus throw shade at this former Chicago Bears GM?

Chicago Bears-Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears-Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

Without knowing it, did Matt Eberflus throw shade at former Chicago Bears general manager, Ryan Pace this week? In his press conference on Wednesday, Bears beat reporter, Brad Biggs asked Eberflus a question regarding Roquan Smith and the 2018 NFL Draft.

"“When you were in Indy in 2018, you guys had a very high draft pick. If they hadn’t taken Quinten Nelson…we’re you advocating for Roquan?”"

Matt Eberflus didn’t fully remember when the players were drafted, but he was close. He mentioned Quenton Nelson being pick No. 5, but Nelson actually went sixth overall. He also thought Roquan Smith went 11th in the draft but he actually went eighth overall.

Matt Eberflus throws a little shade at former Chicago Bears GM, Ryan Pace

Nevertheless, Eberflus answered Brad Biggs’ question more honestly than I would have guessed. His answer essentially was the same as taking a shot at Ryan Pace — even if that wasn’t his intention. Here is what he had to say specifically.

"“Um at five? It was five, he was 11, right? Eight? Okay, yeah, I don’t think at that time [Chris] Ballard was in the business of taking an off-the-ball linebacker at eight. I don’t think I could have convinced him of that."

Wow. I loved the honesty here by Matt Eberflus. It’s great to hear him say this because it is so true. Off-the-ball linebackers are similar to running backs — not worth such high draft capital. Now, this isn’t saying that he didn’t like Roquan Smith as a player. I think he did and think he still does. However, he understands, just like not taking an off-the-ball linebacker that high in the draft, you also cannot pay him $20 million per year. The position doesn’t hold enough value for that. Landing a second-round pick, a fifth-round pick and along with linebacker A.J. Klein was great value.

It is pretty clear to me that Eberflus and Ryan Poles are on the same page when it came to the Roquan Smith situation. It will be fun to root for Jack Sanborn now too as I expect him to get the first crack at starting this weekend. As much as I loved Roquan Smith the player, he became a bit of a headache and I have come to agree that taking him at eight was a mistake. Shaquille Leonard was also drafted that year. He went in the second round (36th) and the rest is history.