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Roquan Smith selected No. 8 overall by Bears

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith was selected No. 8 overall by the Chicago Bears at the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday in Arlington, Texas.

Considered one of the top defensive players in this year's draft, Smith quickly emerged as SEC standout during the 2016 season. He played in all 13 games, starting 10, and lead the Bulldogs with 95 tackles (five for loss, one pass breakup). In 2017, Smith notched a whopping 137 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

"Smith is an ascending linebacker prospect with elite athletic ability, plus intelligence and an ability to be an effective cover linebacker on passing downs," NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote. "While he's a little undersized, he does have the quickness and speed to keep himself from being mauled. He was good in 2016, but great in 2017 and projects as a player who hasn't tapped his full potential. Smith has Pro Bowl traits and talent and will come off the board in the first round."

Smith is the second linebacker selected in the first round by the Bears in the past three years. Georgia's Leonard Floyd was selected No. 9 overall in 2016.

The Bears' struggles on defense certainly will benefit from Smith's addition to the roster. New head coach Matt Nagy has a potentially potent defensive tool that is capable of causing plenty of problems for opposing running backs and quarterbacks.

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