Sam Montgomery DE LSU #99
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Size/Athleticism: Solid blend of strength and athleticism, however, he’s not elite in either category. He has enough speed in short bursts to be effective as an edge rusher, but he isn’t the type that makes great plays in pursuit.
Run Defense: Somewhat inconsistent against the run. He’s fairly easily stonewalled at the point of attack and struggles to consistently shed blocks against more powerful linemen. He’s not a great athlete when weaving through traffic. He doesn’t have the fluid hips and footwork to allow him to slide through tight spaces to get after the ball carrier.
Pass Rush: He wins with speed, but he isn’t fast enough to consistently dominate based off this trait alone. He took advantage of slow-footed offensive linemen in college, but he didn’t face a ton of great future NFL left tackles. He isn’t the type of pass-rusher that will be a consistent difference maker at the next level, but he will take advantage of favorable matchups. He needs to show a wide array of moves. Too often his initial speed rush gets stopped and he struggles to battle with the offensive lineman. He needs to add a secondary move to seamlessly transition to when the lineman is able to kick out and step in front of his initial attack.
Versatility: Primarily played with his hand on the ground in college, but has the ability to play linebacker in a 3-4. He isn’t a fluid enough athlete to offer much in coverage.
Intangibles: There are serious concerns about his work ethic and his commitment to the game. He has admitted to taking plays and even entire games off. If a player can’t be motivated when he’s playing for free in college, he will never be motivated once he’s handed an NFL contract.
Durability: Suffered a season-ending knee injury as a freshman.
Comments: Montgomery was productive at LSU, but he lacks the elite physical tools to rank him among the top prospects in a very deep class of pass-rushers. To make matters worse, his inconsistent play and admitted lack of effort destroys his draft stock. You simply can’t teach a player to care about his performance. If he can’t put forth the effort to make himself great prior to reaching the NFL, he won’t learn that type of commitment once he’s collecting an NFL paycheck. Montgomery can still be a solid player, but don’t expect him to take his game to another level.