While the Washington Redskins recently re-signed veteran Mason Foster, the team could still look for additional help at inside linebacker in the 2018 NFL Draft.
There are a few options that could be available for Washington once the 13th pick rolls around, including Georgia’s Roquan Smith.
In his most recent mock draft, CBSSports.com’s Chris Trapasso has the Redskins selecting Smith in the first round.
“Smith’s football intelligence, speed, and power will allow him to be a star right away,” Trapasso writes.
In three seasons at Georgia, Smith appeared in 28 games and recorded 252 tackles (20.5 for loss) along with 6.5 sacks, three passes defensed, three fumbles forced and three fumbles recovered.
During his junior season in 2016, Smith was a unanimous All-American selection as he tallied a team-high 137 tackles (14 for loss) along with 18 quarterback pressures and 6.5 sacks. The Montezuma, Ga., native was also named the Butkus Award winner, given annually to the nation’s top linebacker.
Smith recorded at least 10 total tackles in five of the Bulldogs’ games including performances in the SEC Championship Game, the Rose Bowl and the National Championship Game.
In a Rose Bowl victory over Oklahoma, Smith earned Defensive MVP honors as he recorded 11 tackles along with a half-sack before totaling 13 tackles against Alabama in the title game.
As a sophomore in 2015, the 6-foot-1, 225 pounder led Georgia in tackles with 95. Smith capped off the season by recording a combined 26 tackles in the team’s final two games of the season.
Smith appeared in 12 games during his freshman season, registering 20 tackles.
According to his NFL.com draft profile, Smith is a “speed demon who walks down backs looking to race him to the corner.”
“Fluid and explosive in space. Block-slipper. Praised by his head coach as being a “tremendous leader” who holds himself accountable. Has instincts and football intelligence. Laser-sharp focus to finds the football when sifting through zone reads and jet sweeps. Plays with discipline. Senses when running backs are prepping for screen and fires downhill to stop it. Face-up tackler who sticks his nose in noise. Rare stop-start and change of direction talent. Flips pursuit from one target to the next seamlessly. Gets early bail into coverage against play-fake. Able to mirror and match against the most athletic running backs in coverage. Gets early jumps to join crossing routes and has the speed to carry them across the field. Searches out and squeezes receivers when playing zone,” his profile states.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says Smith could be a similar player in the NFL to Deion Jones, who has recorded 166 tackles in his first two NFL seasons.