Roquan Smith   LB   Georgia

TALENT
ROUND
1

STRENGTHS
Roquan reminds me a lot of the Cowboys Sean Lee. He has the same innate vision as Sean has to see what is in front of him as if he was wearing those funny glasses in a 3D movie. He has good size, excellent speed and the lateral explosion like a running back that allows him to slip blocks rather than take on blocks and shedding them. This ability to slip blocks eliminates a lot of wear and tear on his body and keeps him fresh for all four quarters. Roguan’s ability to read body language on the fly allows him to be in better position to slip blocks and make sure tackles when other linebackers are getting blocked. Roquan also has excellent body control that allows him to go low and make sure tackles and this will help him to keep out of the concussion tent. Roquan is a three down linebacker because of his speed and ability to go side line to sideline and change of direction skills to cover. He is the type of player you build your front seven around on defense and when he is off the field your defense will struggle to adjust and be effective.

CONCERNS
Roquan is not the type of linebacker who should be taking on big offensive lineman, shedding and making tackles in the whole. He needs to run free to the play so playing in a 4/3, 2 gap system with big bodies in front of him will make him more of an impact player.

BOTTOM LINE
Great players have the ability to see what happens on the field of play in slow motion and that makes it easier for them to react and impact but I think it even goes a step further than just slow motion. Most people with good eye site have 180 degrees peripheral vision. Some hunting dogs have 240 degrees of Peripheral vision and can see motion up to a mile away. I remember watching Johnny Manziel and thinking this kid must have eyes in the back of his head. Roquan Smith has the ability to slow down what he is looking at and keep his peripheral vision and this is why this kid is something special. Add to that he’s speed, quickness and high football IQ and you have the ability to draft a special player who will impact like the Cowboys Sean Lee is. Roquan doesn’t overreact to the play in front of him. He plays the angles and uses the sideline to corral players and then goes low and makes the tackle. Sean and Roquan are seeing the blocker in front of them, the running back behind and whoever else is in their peripheral vision ALL in slow motion. Most linebackers are reading a blocker with tunneling vision and guessing on the gap the runner is running to. That’s why the running backs with lateral explosion can cut quickly and make the average linebacker look like he overreacted and read the play wrong. Roquan doesn’t overreact and keeps his angles and stalks his prey like a tiger with slow calculation movement before exploding for the take down. He will remind most teams of the Panthers Luke Kuechly and in the type of defensive front that the Panthers use… Roquan should be very effective.

Drew Boylhart   JAN. 2018