Prior to the 2022 NFL season, NFL Network is releasing its Top 100 players list from around the league. Two Chicago Bears cracked the first wave of the list as Roquan Smith came in at No. 84 and David Montgomery checked in at No. 98.
This is a pretty fair ranking considering the Bears are going through a rebuild. Players such as Justin Fields and Darnell Mooney have the talent to eventually make the list, but they haven’t yet been able to showcase it consistently on the biggest stage. Smith and Montgomery have.
Last season, Montgomery rushed for 849 yards and scored seven touchdowns. All of his production came under former Bears' head coach Matt Nagy’s sluggish offense, which typically gave Montgomery less than 20 touches a game. With Luke Getsy now calling the plays and an improved offensive line in front of him, Montgomery has a strong chance to climb the list this year.
As things currently stand, Roquan Smith is still a member of the Chicago Bears. Smith’s 95 solo tackles led the Bears' defense by a wide margin in 2021. He also turned in 12 tackles for loss and three sacks, and one defensive touchdown.
Following the Khalil Mack trade this offseason, it was reasonable to assume that Smith would become the new cornerstone of Chicago's defense. But given the messy nature of contract extension talks to date and his ongoing holdout, the Bears could potentially trade him. Regardless of where Smith plays his next NFL game, he has the athletic ability to stay in the top 100 for years to come.