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Roquan Daevon Smith (born April 8, 1997) is an American football linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Georgia. Smith became the first Georgia Bulldog to win the Butkus Award.[1]

Roquan Smith
refer to caption
Smith in 2018
No. 58 – Chicago Bears
Personal information
Born: (1997-04-08) April 8, 1997 (age 22)
Marshallville, Georgia
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:236 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Macon County
(Montezuma, Georgia)
NFL Draft:2018 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2018
Total tackles:122
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:0
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR


Early yearsEdit

Smith attended Macon County High School in Montezuma, Georgia, where he played football for the Bulldogs.[2] He originally committed to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to play college football but changed his commitment to the University of Georgia.[3][4]

College careerEdit

While at the University of Georgia, Smith played college football under head coaches Mark Richt and Kirby Smart. As a true freshman at Georgia in 2015, Smith played in 12 games and recorded 20 tackles.[5] As a sophomore in 2016, he started 10 of 13 games, recording 95 tackles.[6][7]

In 2017, Smith was named MVP of the SEC Championship Game, as well as SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.[8] He also became the first Georgia Bulldog to win the Butkus Award. Smith decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and entered the 2018 NFL Draft.[1]

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad
6 ft 0 78 in
(1.85 m)
236 lb
(107 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.51 s 1.58 s 2.63 s 33 12 in
(0.85 m)
9 ft 9 in
(2.97 m)
All values from NFL Draft[9][10]
Smith with Khalil Mack, DeAndre Houston-Carson, and Akiem Hicks of the Chicago Bears in 2018

Smith was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the eighth overall pick in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.[11]

His contract signing was significantly delayed due to contract disputes between the Bears and Smith's agency CAA Football over language in his rookie contract stating whether his guaranteed money would be reclaimed by the team if he was suspended due to the NFL's new rule outlawing contact leading with the helmet. CAA argued for wording that would protect Smith's guaranteed earnings, while the Bears preferred for decisions to be determined by the league, a situation that was exacerbated by skepticism surrounding the rule and the frequency of tackling in Smith's role.[12] On August 14, the Bears signed Smith to a fully guaranteed four-year, $18.47 million contract that included a signing bonus of $11.51 million.[13] He was the last first-round pick in his draft class to sign with his team.[14][15]

2018 seasonEdit

In his NFL debut in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers on NBC Sunday Night Football, Smith recorded a sack on the Packers' quarterback DeShone Kizer on his first career snap.[16] In Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins, Smith made 13 tackles.[17] In Week 9 against the Buffalo Bills, Smith made 13 tackles as the Bears won the game 41–9.[18][19] In Week 10 against the Detroit Lions, he made 10 tackles and sacked quarterback Matthew Stafford, while the Bears won 34–22,[20] while also leading the team in tackles in both of these weeks.[21] In Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, he made 11 tackles and sacked quarterback Stafford in a 23–16 win.[22][23] In Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams, Smith made six tackles and recorded his first career interception off Jared Goff and returned the ball 22 yards to the four-yard line as the Bears won 15–6.[24][25][26] In Week 15 against the Green Bay Packers, Smith made 10 tackles in a 24–17 win.[27] In Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers, Smith made nine tackles and sacked Nick Mullens in a 14–9 win.[28] On December 30, during a Week 17 game against the Minnesota Vikings, Smith had six tackles as the Bears defeated the Vikings 24–10.[29]

On January 6, 2019, in the Bears' 16–15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Wild Card playoff game, Smith led the team with seven tackles and made an interception off Nick Foles.[30]

Smith finished the season with 122 tackles, five sacks, five passes defended, and one interception. He received an overall grade of 67.4 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked him as the 39th highest grade among all qualifying linebackers.[31]

Career statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR
2018 CHI 16 14 122 89 33 5.0 5 1 22 22.0 22 0 0
Total 16 14 122 89 33 5.0 5 1 22 22.0 22 0 0

Personal lifeEdit

On May 8, 2018, nearly two weeks after being drafted, it was reported that Smith's car was burglarized in Athens, Georgia, where a team-issued iPad along with some of Smith's personal belongings, including his college jerseys, helmet, and awards were stolen from his car. However, the next day, the stolen items were recovered.[32][33]


  1. ^ a b Rittenberg, Adam (January 15, 2018). "Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith to enter NFL draft".
  2. ^ Seibel, Ron (February 2, 2015). "Smith about to give Macon County its big moment". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  3. ^ "Four-star LB Roquan Smith commits to Georgia without LOI". Sports Illustrated. February 13, 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Carvell, Michael (February 13, 2015). "Roquan Smith: UGA beats UCLA for historic recruit - College recruiting blog". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  5. ^ "Active Roquan Smith impressing Georgia coach Kirby Smart". Times Free Press. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Roquan Smith garners high expectations, bold comparison ahead of junior season". Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "Roquan Smith ready to build off Georgia's 2016 finish". Times Free Press. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "Georgia, Auburn split top awards on AP All-SEC football team". Associated Press. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  9. ^ "NFL Draft Prospect Profile - Will Hernandez". March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Georgia LB Roquan Smith : 2018 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "Roquan Smith selected No. 8 overall by Bears". April 26, 2018.
  12. ^ Campbell, Rich (July 28, 2018). "Roquan Smith's holdout centers on new NFL helmet-contact rule". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  13. ^ " Roquan Smith contract". Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  14. ^ "Roquan Smith ends holdout, signs contract". August 14, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Knoblauch, Austin (August 13, 2018). "Roquan Smith agrees to $18.4M rookie deal with Bears". Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  16. ^ Finley, Patrick (September 9, 2018). "Roquan Smith debut: Bears rookie LB posts sack on first NFL snap". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  17. ^ Stankevitz, JJ (October 15, 2018). "Bears grades: Defense falls flat, and a longer look at Matt Nagy's decision-making". NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved October 17, 2018. Roquan Smith racked up 13 tackles...
  18. ^ Eurich, Matt (November 4, 2018). "5 Bears up, 5 Bears down vs. Bills". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  19. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Ties season high in tackles". November 4, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  20. ^ Eurich, Matt (November 11, 2018). "Allen Robinson dominates in Bears win over Lions". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  21. ^ Jahns, Adam L. (November 11, 2018). "Welcome back, Mack: Bears OLB Khalil Mack stars in return with two sacks". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 12, 2018. And linebacker Roquan Smith led the Bears in tackles for the second game in a row with 10, which included a sack on a blitz.
  22. ^ Eurich, Matt (November 22, 2018). "Bears players react to Thanksgiving Day win". Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  23. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Explodes in Thursday's win". November 22, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Cohen, Jay (December 10, 2018). "Goff, Rams shut down by Bears in 15-6 loss". AP News. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  25. ^ Eurich, Matt (December 10, 2018). "Bears defense dominates Rams in big Sunday Night Football win". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  26. ^ Perez, Bryan (December 10, 2018). "Roquan Smith has something in common with Brian Urlacher after Wk 14 INT". Bears Wire. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  27. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Reaches double-digit tackles again". December 16, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  28. ^ Jahns, Adam L. (December 24, 2018). "Film Study: Five takeaways from the Bears' 14-9 win against the 49ers". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 24, 2019. Smith was everywhere again. He led the Bears with nine total tackles. His sack of Mullens in the third quarter on second-and-eight also deterred a 49ers drive.
  29. ^ "Bears' Roquan Smith: Finishes amazing rookie season". December 31, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  30. ^ Kelly, Brad (January 7, 2019). "Rookie Takeaways: Wild Card Sunday". The Draft Network. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  31. ^ "Pro Football Focus: Roquan Smith". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  32. ^ "Roquan Smith had Bears-issued iPad stolen from car". NFL. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  33. ^ "Roquan Smith recovers most items after robbery". NFL. Retrieved May 9, 2018.

External linksEdit