Danny Trevathan Already Envisioning Big Impact Roquan Smith Can Have On Bears' Defense

"We got the right guy to fit our defense," Trevathan said of Smith.

Chris Emma
May 16, 2018 - 3:10 pm
New Bears linebacker Roquan Smith

Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

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By Chris Emma--

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- There's a look in the eyes of Roquan Smith, the linebacker drafted eighth overall by the Bears in late April, that has already inspired confidence in veteran teammate Danny Trevathan, who quickly envisions he and Smith clicking together.

Trevathan has recognized an intense focus and a serious nature in Smith when it comes to football, the types of characteristics Trevathan wants as leader of a Bears defense on the rise.

"We got the right guy to fit our defense," he said of Smith.

With plenty of potential avenues available for the eighth pick, the Bears came to a consensus on Smith. General manager Ryan Pace described a united draft room on the Butkus Award winner out of Georgia.

The Bears believe they drafted an impact player whose speed and instincts are something special at the position, combined with the kind of leadership that helped the Bulldogs thrive in their run to the national championship game. 

Coach Matt Nagy couldn't help but to chuckle during practice as part of organized team activities Wednesday as Smith darted into the flats and swarmed to the ball-carrier -- just as Nagy had seen repeatedly on the film. 

"He's doing well," Nagy said with a smile.

Two years ago, the arrival of Trevathan to the Bears defense helped soldify its track upward. The unit has made strides ever since, improving to a top-10 unit.

The Bears now hope the selection of Smith helps elevate the unit into the top five, bolstering it among the league's elite. Smith has the kind of sideline-to-sideline abilities that makes the rest of the defense better.

At the least, he's fitting right in with the rest.

"He's just out here trying to get better," Trevathan said. "That's what I like about him. He's calling the calls out. He's learning the plays. That's what you want in him. You want him to come out here and be humble. You want him to work hard. I see that in his eyes.

"I'm just anxious to see how he keeps growing. He's got a good head on his shoulder, came from a good program. I feel like we got a good linebacker."

The Bears previously had high hopes for the tandem of Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, but injuries to both -- along with a suspension for Freeman -- prohibited them from growth together and put the defense in a difficult spot at times over the past couple years.

Trevathan is working this spring at full health after missing the offseason program with a knee injury a year ago. By participating in the program this time around, Trevathan can continue his work as leader of this defense while overseeing the the first NFL practices of Smith.

"He has a demeanor to him, a focus where he's very serious when he's out there on the field," Nagy said of Trevathan. "He'll be a great mentor for Roquan."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.