The New York Giants motto has always been pass rush, pass rush, pass rush! However, in the 2012 NFL season it was pass rush? Pass rush?? Pass rush?!?!?!?????? It's confounding for a team that builds its entire defense philosophy around being able to rush the passer that the Giants were below average in sacks last year (33 for the year, which ranked 22nd) and this is something that must be fixed. Today we'll use oru 2013 NFL Draft prospect profile to look at a potential draft pick who plays defensive end and is considered a first-round pick by some. Could he improve the pass rush for the Giants? Say hello to Sam Montgomery, a defensive end from LSU.
Pretty good size and length (listed at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds). Montgomery plays with good functional strength and is a consistent player against the run. He rushes the passer with a couple of pretty good pass rush moves and active hands. He plays with good leverage and has a good motor. He is a sure tackler and has some length.
He added weight to get bigger in 2012 and didn't look like the same kind of explosive athlete he did the year before, especially as a pass rusher. He doesn't have great flexibility or bend. Montgomery appeared on a list by the Tigers strength and conditioning coach that read like this:
Attention NFL Scouts: The following athletes miss workouts and always have an excuse. These men lack the self discipline and motivation to take care of their responsibilities. I will not answer questions regarding their performance numbers or character as they care only about themselves.
That is something that will need to be checked out. My biggest knock on Montgomery is that, especially as a pass rusher, he looked much better in 2011, and I'm not sure that he can keep his weight and add athleticism. He might be better off as a 3-4 OLB weighing 245 pounds, or gaining a little more weight and being a 3-4 DE or possibly even a defensive tackle. He does not explode off the snap so much that he even looks late sometimes.
I'll let Youtube user Mega Sandman explain (found in the comment section explain of the first Montgomery video below):
If he can figure out how to get off the line within an hour or two of when the ball is snapped he might be pretty good. I thought he might just be setting up the OTs with his slow getoff, to burn by later ... but nope.
Player comparison: Cameron Jordan (walterfootball), Andre Carter (NFl.com), Ray Edwards (Mockingthedraft.com)
Does He Fit With The Giants?
I don't particularly love the fit for the New York Giants if they are looking for a pass rusher at the next level. I like the Cam Jordan player comparison. Jordan is a guy who wins with strength and hustle, but he's 20 pounds heavier than Montgomery. Jordan plays the run well and a guy who will get sacks because he doesn't give up and he can bull rush well. As I've watched Montgomery lately, he'll actually be moving down my board.
The first video is from 2012 vs Alabama. The second video is from 2011. Both videos are from @jmpasq
Big Board Rankings
Mocking the Draft-18th
Big Blue View Board-24th (but will be lower on my next big board update)
I don't mean to knock Montgomery around too much. It's not that he's not a quality player, because he is very solid and worth a day two pick, but in 2012 he didn't play as well as he did in 2011 and that always worries me about draft prospects. I prefer ascending players, I want guys who are getting better every year and it scares me that he lost much of his athleticism when he put on the weight. The note about him not trying hard in the weight room and always missing workouts (if that is true) worries me some too, though I try not to take those things into account for my own board because I don't know the whole story. Montgomery will be a solid starting defensive end in the NFL, which is fine, but that's not what I'd spend a first-round pick on. Like I said he's moving down on my board, but I"m interested to see how he looks at the combine and what weight he shows up at.
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