Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Baltimore Ravens have traded for Chicago Bears star linebacker Roquan Smith. In return for Smith, the Ravens parted ways with a second- and fifth-round pick, along with recently-signed linebacker A.J. Klein, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson.
Smith leads the NFL in tackles (83) and is currently on pace for 176 tackles, five sacks and four interceptions. The former first-round pick is in the final year of his rookie contract with the Bears. The trade compensation is currently unknown, but the Ravens have added a two time All-Pro to their defense. The former University of Georgia Unanimous All-American was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and is considered one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL.
Smith has been known to be capable of carrying the No. 3 receiver on vertical routes, something only a handful of linebackers in the NFL can do with any relative consistency. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith has allowed only three coverage touchdowns in his career, while intercepting eight passes and breaking up 11. Smith will create an unbelievably dynamic, athletic duo alongside Patrick Queen, who has stepped up this season for Baltimore. With Smith’s coverage ability combined with safeties and cornerbacks like Queen, Kyle Hamilton, Geno Stone, Marcus Williams, Malik Harrison, Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo, the Ravens are continuing to double down on their “positionless” defensive philosophy.
Considering that the Ravens traded a second-round and fifth-round pick to acquire Smith, it would be likely that the Ravens will extend the All-Pro. Smith joins one of the most prestigious positions in American sports: playing middle linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens.
It is yet to be seen if the Ravens have more up their sleeve with a little over 24-hours remaining until the deadline.