In his one season with the Miami Dolphins, former undrafted free agent Montre Hartage did not impress the organization enough to keep him around. He apparently, though, left an impression on his former Dolphins defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
When the Dolphins waived Hartage in April, the Giants — with Graham now running their defense — scooped up the soon-to-be-23-year-old defensive back.
Can Hartage stick with the Giants? Let’s take a closer look.
Age: 23 when season begins
Position: Defensive back
Contract: One-year, $675,000
How he got here
Undrafted out of Northwestern, Hartage spent most of the season on the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad. He was signed to the active roster for four games at the end of the season, playing 98 defensive snaps in that time.
The Giants, with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham having moved from Miami to New York, claimed Hartage on waivers from the Dolphins in late April.
In his 2019 draft guide, Dane Brugler of The Athletic said:
A three-year starter at Northwestern, Hartage lined up inside and outside for the Wildcats, seeing snaps in both man and zone coverages. He was consistently productive as a tackler and when attacking the football, finishing tied for fifth-best in school history with 10 interceptions. Hartage checks boxes for his decisive reactor and competitive play demeanor, quickly identifying routes and playing through the hands of receivers. However, he lacks ideal deep speed and twitch to easily recover if caught out of position. Overall, Hartage isn’t a burner and has a small margin of error, but he has a natural feel for coverage to disrupt the catch point and is the type of competitor who will make it tough on an NFL coaching staff to cut him.
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network offered a similar assessment:
Montre Hartage projects more as a depth player and special teams option than he does as an every down player or defensive stalwart. Hartage comes up short in his ability to play turn and run coverage and his short area acceleration skills, which negatively hinder a lot of plus qualities about his game. Hartage is a plus tackler who should thrive on kick coverages and can be called upon as a potential depth cornerback.
Here is Hartage’s spider chart, showing his athletic limitations:
The best thing that happened for Hartage in Miami was that while he was on the team’s practice squad he learned the free safety position. That means he offers three-position versatility — outside cornerback, slot cornerback, free safety — as well as tackling ability that should make him a valuable special teams player.
Kevin Nogle of SB Nation’s Dolphins website, The Phinsider, said Hartage “was a solid depth option, but was not much more than that” for Miami.
“I think his Dolphins days just came to an end when Miami needed roster space. They are deep in the secondary now, and Hartage became the expendable piece,” Nogle said. “Obviously, Patrick Graham knows Hartage and saw his development last year, so continued growth from a solid player can be expected.”
Hartage will enter training camp with the advantage of already having played for Graham. He will also enter with the disadvantage of being a previously undrafted player already waived by one team who will be fighting for one of roughly 10 defensive back spots with a number of players in whom the Giants are more heavily invested — whether that be financially or in terms of draft capital.