Sam Montgomery Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On April – 1 – 2013
"Sam Montgomery"

Thomas Campbell

Sam Montgomery – LSU

Height: 6032

Weight: 262

Age when drafted: 23

Hometown: Greenwood, SC

Position: DE

Collegiate Number: 99

Combine notables: 4.81 40 with 1.64 split, 34.5” vertical, 7.18 3-cone, 4.51 short shuttle

Games Viewed: 2012 – Washington, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama, Clemson 2011 – Alabama, Georgia

BACKGROUND:

Sam Montgomery was a standout defensive end at Greenwood High School in Greenwood South Carolina. He was a standout basketball player at Greenwood as well and teammate of South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger. Montgomery racked up 26 sacks over the course of his final two years in high school and was a four-star recruit that chose LSU over in state schools such as South Carolina and Clemson.

Montgomery redshirted in 2009 and ended his redshirt freshman season (2010) with 18 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Montgomery burst onto the national scene as a sophomore with 49 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and 9 sacks. Montgomery’s final season in Baton Rouge ended with 8 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

SIZE/ ATHLETCISM/STRENGTH:

Montgomery has solid measurables at over 6-foot-3 and 262 pounds. He entered LSU at just shy of 230 pounds and put on almost 30 pounds before this season. He’s a long-limbed athlete with almost 34” arms.

Not the quick-twitch athlete that many made him out to be before this season. Adequate speed and burst will stand in his way of being a high volume sack guy at the next level.

Much better strength than anticipated. Solid bulk and equally proportionate upper and lower body. He can turn speed to power and is most effective bull rushing opponents into the laps of the QB. Nice lower body strength but loses leverage battles due to technique issues.

PASS RUSH:

He’s at his best rushing the passer when he can utilize his powerful punch and lower body power. Is much more effective bull rushing tackles from out wide. Powerful hands that are capable of rocking bigger tackles with his upper body strength. Doesn’t bend well off the edge and lacks elite speed to beat opponents on the outside. Average explosion and was really slow getting off the ball. Doesn’t have the speed to make up for his slow get-off. Wins with power almost exclusively, needs to develop some counter moves. He’s not going to make his living as an edge rusher, which should put the ceiling for his draft stock at a mid-to-late 2nd round pick. Intrigued by his ability to kick inside in the nickel as he possesses the power to stand up against guards.

AGAINST THE RUN:

Despite being just over 260 pounds, Montgomery’s best fit may be as a run stuffing left end in the 4-3. Punches with power and is capable of stacking and shedding with good hand usage. Would like to see him be more consistent with his eyes. Seems to lose the action and get caught up with hand battles. Pretty good motor and will chase the action going away. There is some upside with Montgomery to develop into a solid run stuffing end that can give you a little pressure off the edge as well.

TECHNIQUE:

I came away from the 2011 and 2012 less than impressed with Montgomery from a technical standpoint and is the reason I wouldn’t touch him before the third round. There seems to be no awareness of leverage as he plays high more often than not. His lateral agility is below average and struggles in space. Hand usage is solid initially but struggles to disengage from blockers with his hands.

RED FLAGS:

Question marks about Montgomery’s work ethic weren’t answered at the Combine, when Montgomery admitted to playing down to competition.

OVERALL:

Sam Montgomery was widely viewed as one of the top prospects in the preseason. After a 9 sack performance many expected Montgomery to emerge into one of the more productive sack artists in college football. Montgomery put on almost 30 pounds before the start of the season which was evident in his lack of athleticism.

The fact of the matter is that Montgomery isn’t going to be a highly productive pass rusher at the next level. He doesn’t bend off the edge well and lacks speed and burst to win on the outside.

His best fit is as a left end that can be effective as a run stuffer and give you an occasional sack or two. He plays with a solid motor despite saying he played down to the competition. There are some red flags with Montgomery as he was part of the vaunted list of LSU athletes that ‘lacked self- discipline and motivation to take care of their responsibilities’. Not exactly a ringing endorsement and concerning because Montgomery didn’t progress from his freshman to junior season. Between his own admission of playing down to the competition and being pinpointed by the strength coach, Montgomery has a significant hole to dig out of.

There isn’t as much of a premium placed on left ends in the NFL and I can’t imagine using anything more than a 3rd round pick on Montgomery. That said, teams may start to look at him towards the end of round two.

VIDEO LINKS:  Washington, Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, Alabama (2011), Georgia (2011)

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