Bears select rangy LB Smith with first-round pick

 

Bears first-round pick, LB Roquan Smith of Georgia.

Bears first-round pick, LB Roquan Smith of Georgia

After adding offensive skill position players during free agency, the Chicago Bears turned to bolstering its defense with the first-round selection of Georgia LB Roquan Smith during Thursday night’s NFL Draft.

Smith, 6-1, 225, bypassed his senior year to enter the draft after spearheading the Bulldogs attack unit during a season that culminated with a appearance in the National Championship game. He’s a productive and athletic defender with quick feet and keen instincts who’s always around the football. Smith’s sideline-to sideline playmaking skills earned him high marks in evaluator’s eyes, as he routinely sheds the trash and locates the ball.

Undersized by traditional NFL standards, Smith fits the mold of the modern NFL linebacker by mixing speed, footwork, and high football intelligence to make up for his lack of natural bulk. He rates as one of the better coverage linebackers to come out in some time, demonstrating an ability to run and mirror tight ends and backs. READ MORE

Mocking the Chicago Bears 2018 draft

Denzel Ward CB Ohio State

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

 

The all-star games are long past, the combine is history, and pro days are in the books. With the NFL Draft right around the corner, the Chicago Bears and 31 other NFL teams are cross-checking their draft boards and scouting reports once more until draft night.

Here’s one observer’s guess how Bears General Manager Ryan Pace and his front-office react during the three-day talent grab bag.

Round 1 (8th overall)  Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State….Lacking the draft capital to move up and with top-shelf talents such as Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, and Quenton Nelson off the board, the Bears think about trading down but ultimately boost their secondary with the selection of Ward.  Ward is a fluid press corner with long arms, quick feet and fine ball instincts.  He played in the shadow of fellow Buckeye pros Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore, Eli Apple, but Ward emerged as a feisty defender who battles receivers with a mix of confidence and swagger.

Ward played three seasons with the Buckeyes before electing to forego his senior season to make himself available for the 2018 NFL Draft. This after he had an outstanding junior season in 2017, earning consensus All-America honors and first-team all-Big Ten accolades after recording 17 passes defensed with 15 pass break-ups and two interceptions, including one interception in the Big Ten championship game win over Wisconsin. The 17 passes defended is the fourth-highest single season total in school history. Ward had five pass break-ups, and six passes defensed, in the season opener against Indiana and he made one of the biggest plays of the year in the 39-38 win over Penn State: blocking a fourth-quarter punt with the Buckeyes down by 15. READ MORE

Bears road opener with Pack highlights schedule

Football generic 3

First-year Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy won’t have to wait long to experience the NFL’s oldest rivalry. The Bears open the 2018 season in Green Bay September 9 on Sunday night football. It marks the first time since 2009 that the Bears will kick off their season against their NFC North foes.

Among the other highlights, Chicago opens its home schedule the following week on Monday night when they host Seattle. The Bears also make a return to “Turkey day” when they travel to division rival Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. In what is likely to be Tom Brady’s final appearance in Chicago, the Bears entertain the Patriots on Sunday, October 21.

In a curious scheduling quirk, Chicago plays all four of its opponents from the AFC East in succession beginning in mid-October.  A visit to Miami is sandwiched around home games with New England and the Jets before traveling to Buffalo.

The full regular season schedule is below:

Sunday
Sep. 9
Packers at Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
8:20pm ET
NBC
Monday
Sep. 17
Seahawks Seattle Seahawks
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
8:15pm ET
ESPN
Sunday
Sep. 23
Cardinals at Arizona Cardinals
U. of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
4:25pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Sep. 30
Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00pm ET
FOX
Sunday October 7  BYE
Sunday
Oct. 14
Dolphins at Miami Dolphins
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
1:00pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Oct. 21
Patriots New England Patriots
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00pm ET
CBS
Sunday
Oct. 28
Jets New York Jets
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00pm ET
CBS
Sunday
Nov. 4
Bills at Buffalo Bills
New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY
1:00pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Nov. 11
Lions Detroit Lions
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Nov. 18
Vikings Minnesota Vikings
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00pm ET
FOX
Thursday
Nov. 22
Lions at Detroit Lions
Ford Field, Detroit, MI
12:30pm ET
CBS
Sunday
Dec. 2
Giants at New York Giants
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1:00pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Dec. 9
Rams Los Angeles Rams
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Dec. 16
Packers Green Bay Packers
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
1:00pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Dec. 23
49ers at San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
4:05pm ET
FOX
Sunday
Dec. 30
Vikings at Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
1:00pm ET
FOX

READ MORE