The Baltimore Ravens traded for inside linebacker Roquan Smith from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a second-round selection, a fifth-round selection and inside linebacker A.J. Klein. Smith instantly boosted everyone on the Baltimore defense, and was a key reason why the team surged to a strong end of the season.
When listing off defensive players who could have the biggest impact on the 2023 NFL season, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports named Smith as one of his choices. When explaining why, Benjamin discussed how Smith should feel even more comfortable in the Ravens’ defense with a full offseason of preparation.
“Smith was already a top-shelf linebacker with the Bears, but he played with added menace upon his midseason trade to Baltimore, quickly taking over as the heart and soul of the defense. Still just 26, he should be even more comfortable with his teammates this time around. If he even comes close to replicating his debut impact, he’ll help Baltimore back to the playoffs.”