Roquan Smith drafted in the first round by Chicago

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Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith was drafted No. 8 overall to the Chicago Bears during the NFL Draft on Thursday.

The general manager's previous three top-10 selections (Kevin White, Leonard Floyd and Mitchell Trubisky) were all - to some degree - viewed as projects on draft night.

They also could look into wide receiver or the offensive line with this pick.

Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan has said that he believes Lamar Jackson is the most talented player in the 2018 NFL Draft. The pick makes a lot of sense for the Bears who have always featured great linebackers.

Smith's scenario is entirely different. His ability to diagnose plays, his instincts anticipating them and his athleticism tracking the ball helped him earn recognition last season as the SEC defensive player of the year and the nation's best linebacker. Bears GM Ryan Pace said Smith has everything the team is looking for at the linebacker position.

Smith's first impression was a good one.

"Well, there's no pressure to that [being expected to start on Day 1]", Smith said Friday at Halas Hall.

How does Smith feel about reuniting with his former college teammate? "I was just with them a couple months ago so actually just seeing those guys, they are chasing their dream just like I'm chasing mine". "And coach Vic is an awesome defensive coordinator".

Said Fitzpatrick on a conference call: "My dream wasn't just to make it to the National Football League but to be a great player in the NFL". He is now in the same exact scheme with the same exact coach as Willis. "Regardless of how he wants to use me, I'm just excited and willing to do anything". "He was very relentless, very physical, and I felt like he did things the right way on and off the field". In Georgia inside linebacker Roquan Smith, the Bears' choice with the eighth overall pick in the draft, they're getting not only a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine with the agility to cover running backs and tight ends, they're getting a player with leadership qualities that extend beyond the field.