1. ILB Roquan Smith, Georgia
6-1, 236: The leader and tone-setter for the great Georgia defense, he was the nation’s best linebacker coming up with 137 tackles with 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Coming off a 95-tackle sophomore season, he ramped up his pass rushing and started to do even more to make big things happen.
A guided missile who flies around the ball, he’s a massive hitter who blows up ball-carriers and is always around the ball and the big play. Smart, instinctive, and with the quickness to get where he needs to be, he’s always in the right spot at the right time.
Not massive, he’s not a thick linebacker for the inside and will likely end up on the outside – he’s not a true middle linebacker. He’ll get erased by bigger, next-level blockers, and he’ll have to stay out of traffic and always be on the move, but he’s used to that.
Go ahead and put him anywhere in a linebacking corps and he’ll produce, but no matter where he is, he’ll be the star of the show.
Just pencil him in for at least 100 tackles to start, throw in the big plays, and add in the upside to get even better once he settles in at a spot.
Projected Round: First Round
Real Value: Top Ten Overall