Montez Sweat | More than a Sack Artist?

Through all scheme or philosophical changes NFL offenses and defenses go through there will be two constants on defense. Rushing the passer and covering receivers. And for players like Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat who can play in multiple schemes, has good size/length and have pass rush production he is going to get the attention of talent evaluators.

 

Who is Montez Sweat

After a stand out high school career in Georgia Sweat was only a two star prospect who signed with Michigan State. At 6’6 Sweat had the frame that the Spartans liked out of their defense ends. Sweat was lost in the shuffle as a backup and after an indefinite suspension that lasted basically an entire year he transferred to the JUCO ranks and then found his way to Mississippi State. Sweat made the most of his first year at Mississippi State leading the team with 10.5 sacks as their primary edge rusher. With new defensive coordinator Bob Shoop now running the defense Sweat is hoping to not only replicate those numbers but build off of them.

 

What Montez Sweat Does Well

At 6’6 245lbs Montez Sweat has the idea frame teams want out of their pass rushers. More of a power pass rusher, Sweat often attacks at the offensive tackle looking to make a move after engaging with them. Where that is getting some push and then reacting off to attack the quarterback or to make a quick lateral move to get around the tackle. Sweat does have the ankle flexibility to turn the corner when he gets the advantage to get after the quarterback. As a run defender he uses leverage well to set the edge while also showing the ability to shed blocks and make plays at the line of scrimmage.

 

Concerns about Montez Sweat

One thing stands out about Sweat is he isn’t an overly sudden athlete. Sweat lacks the speed to consistently win around the corner or has the bend to sink his hips. Sweat puts himself in the right situation against the run but because he lacks that burst or recovery speed he can fail to make plays on the ball on runs outside or to chase down the ball carrier.

 

Outlook

You don’t lead the SEC in sacks without talent, but if Montez Sweat wants to cash in on some of the first round buzz he’s gotten he’ll need to continue his development. He’s not going to be a bendy athlete but has the ankle flexibility and lateral burst to get around defenders. He just needs to develop some pass rushing moves and improve his hand usage. It also helps that John Shoop is his defensive coordinator who saw a player with similar skill set in Derek Barnett go on to have huge success at Tennessee. If Sweat can continue his development he has starter potential, but at this point he looks like a key backup.

 

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