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Chalk Talk

Does Roquan Smith compare to Urlacher?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Some of the comments I have heard about Roquan Smith sound similar to what was said about soon-to-be Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher. Not to make comparisons too early, but do you think he has the same potential? How does his athleticism compare to Urlacher?

Dan V.
Hayward, California

I would pump the brakes on comparing any rookie to a soon-to-be Hall of Famer, especially a player who was as uniquely gifted and talented as Brian Urlacher. He had a freakish combination of size and speed that enabled him to dominate in the cover-two defense. Urlacher was 6-4 and 258 pounds, while Roquan Smith is a lot smaller at 6-1 and 236 pounds. With that being said, I do believe that Smith has the potential to become a very good NFL player. He’s a fast and instinctive playmaker who reminds some evaluators of a speedier Lance Briggs. But I wouldn’t mention Smith and Urlacher in the same breath at this point.

Do you see the Bears playing second-round draft pick Anthony Miller as an outside receiver or a slot receiver?

David H.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Anthony Miller has the ability to play both spots, so I imagine that the Bears will give him reps both inside and outside through training camp and move him around in games if he’s able to grasp the responsibilities at outside receiver and the slot. Here’s what general manager Ryan Pace said about where Miller will line up: “We believe he can play inside, we believe he can outside. He’s got good route savvy, good route quickness. He just knows how to set things up. He’s got really strong hands. He’s got 10-inch hands, so he can really pluck the ball. Again, he’s a versatile player in this offense that we can play outside or in the slot.”

Have the Bears ever had the last pick in the draft, Mr. Irrelevant?

Wally M.
Vancouver, Washington

The only two times the Bears have had the last pick in the draft since “Mr. Irrelevant” and “Irrelevant Week” were created in 1976 was in back-to-back years when they selected fullback Jim Finn in 1999 and safety Mike Green in 2000. While Finn failed to make the Bears roster as a rookie, he played 106 games over seven seasons with the Colts and Giants. Green played six seasons with the Bears, appearing in 81 games with 45 starts and recording four interceptions, seven forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. The “Mr. Irrelevant” week was founded by NFL receiver Paul Salata in 1976 to honor the final pick in the draft with festivities in Newport Beach, Calif.

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