Played well against good competition past two years
Already has had one serious knee injury
Slow get off, last one off the snap
Not fast or explosive around the edge
Reputation for a poor work ethic
Has to improve his pass-rushing moves across the board
Double teams are very effective against him
Summary: Montgomery was one of the most steady linemen in the SEC for the past two years. He had back-to-back quality years for the Tigers. Montgomery was never a superstar for the LSU defense, but he was a fine role player who was able to produce with good talent all around him.
Montgomery earned a starting spot as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and totaled 18 tackles and two sacks before blowing out his right knee to prematurely end his season. Montgomery had a breakout sophomore season in 2011 with 49 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, nine sacks and one forced fumble. He was a key cog in LSU having the second-ranked scoring defense in the nation and the second total defense.
2012 was a mixed season for Montgomery. He played well against Alabama, totaling three tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel on the other hand, completely dominated Montgomery and shut him down all game. The Aggies' tackle kept Montgomery from getting any pass rush and moved him out of the way in the ground game. It was an ugly performance by Montgomery as he picked up just two tackles and a pass batted.
Montgomery did well against South Carolina with two sacks, but did not play well against Florida and tackle Xavier Nixon. Montgomery finished the season with five tackles and a sack against Clemson. His pass rush was ineffective in late in the fourth quarter as Clemson moved down the field for the game-winning score. The junior totaled 37 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes broken up in 2012.
Montgomery's game lacks speed and explosion. It starts with a terrible get-off. On LSU's speedy defensive line, he was the slowest lineman to get out of his stance. Montgomery rarely shows the quickness to beat tackles around the edge. His best rushes come off a bull rush or when he dips his shoulder and gets leverage on the tackle.
There are times when Montgomery displays a nice speed rush, but he needs to use it more often. His speed rushes around the corner won't be effective against NFL left tackles.
Montgomery has the potential as a run-defender to hold up well at the point of attack and push blockers into the backfield to blow up runs. That was one of his best and most consistent plays for the Tigers.
I have serious doubts that Montgomery will ever be a double-digit sacker in the NFL. He doesn't look like he has the speed or athletic ability to consistently overmatch tackles. Montgomery could be a solid role player who contributes some pass rush and run defense. The consensus rating has Montgomery as a late first-round pick, but it wouldn't be surprising if he slips into Round 2 like Courtney Upshaw did last year.
Player Comparison: Cam Jordan. The Saints' defensive end is an improving player who defends the run and pass well. If Montgomery pans out, he could be a player similar to Jordan. New Orleans took Jordan with the 24th-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He is stronger and more physical than Montgomery, but if Montgomery adds weight in an NFL strength and conditioning program, he could be an end like Jordan.
NFL Matches: New York Giants, Cincinnati, Seattle, Atlanta
There a few teams in the back half of the first round that could use defensive end help. The Giants are going to have a lot of turnover in their defensive line, and Montgomery could be a book end on the other side from Jason Pierre-Paul. Going to a team like the Giants could max out Montgomery's potential and he might become a better pass-rusher in New York than he would elsewhere.
The Bengals could use defensive end help, and it would become a dire need if Michael Johnson leaves in free agency. The Seahawks could use an end with Chris Clemons coming off a late-season knee injury.
Atlanta has to find a replacement for John Abraham. Montgomery could be in the pool of players for the Falcons to consider late in the first round.
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