Here’s what some of the draft analysts are saying about former Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, who’s projected to be selected within the top 10 picks of the draft, which is slated for April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas:
ESPN Match analyst Greg Cosell:
“I love Roquan Smith. I just think there is not a lot of mystery to his game. I think it doesn’t need to be over evaluated. I think that he is a really good, stacked inside backer. He’s got great speed, great range. He plays that way. He plays to his speed. I know that he bulked up just to go to the combine. He won’t play at 236 pounds. He’ll probably play more at 225. You can do that now in this league as we know from someone like Deion Jones. I guess even Bobby Wagner is probably I guess 230 pounds at most. I really like Roquan Smith on film. I can’t imagine that he’ll be a different player in the NFL.”
ESPN NFL Front Office Insider Louis Riddick:
“Roquan Smith is the truth. The kid is a player in every sense of the word and he should be a Pro Bowler very quickly. Very quickly. He is lightning of the spot meaning that his eyes are where they need to be. His keying and diagnosing is exceptional. Very rarely does he take bad paths to the football. He takes on people hat in hand when he’s taking on offensive line, you see their heads snap back. He can run and when he gets there, he gets there with bad intentions. He covers. He can play the will or the mike in the (nickel). Which means he can play running backs and can match up against tight ends. He may have some size issues. But there are ways to get by doing that with technique and leverage. There is nothing bad for me to stay about Roquan. He’s easily a top 10 player. He should be the first linebacker off the board as far as stacked players are concerned.”
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremia:
“Roquan Smith, to me, he's so easy to love when you look at everything he brings to the table. And I think interview wise and teams doing their background on him, I think that puts him way up there. To me you look at the Bay Area teams, 9 and 10, that makes a lot of sense for him there.
And you look at Jon Gruden having been around Derrick Brooks, I would think he could see a little bit of Derrick Brooks in a guy like Roquan Smith, so that makes sense there.