Why Undrafted?: Steven Montez, QB, Colorado
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell
Six years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Four years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at email@example.com. I can't promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.
There was a buzz about the potential of Colorado quarterback Steven Montez entering the 2019 college football season after he completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,849 yards with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a junior. That was almost identical to his sophomore-year production, and on top of that production, Montez had good size, quality arm strength and some athleticism. Montez's senior year did not go as well, as he was streaky while completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,808 yards with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. After an okay Senior Bowl and a good combine, many thought he would get drafted on Day 3 as a developmental quarterback, but Montez slipped to the undrafted ranks.
Team sources say some had Montez graded on Day 3 while others had him undrafted. They felt he was too streaky, but many thought something was missing as well. Thus, Montez did not cause teams to fall in love enough to spend a pick on him.
After going undrafted, Montez signed with the Washington Redskins, which was a good choice as a team to sign with. While the Redskins have a first-round pick invested in Dwayne Haskins, new head coach Ron Rivera is going to make Haskins earn the right to be the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be. The Redskins traded for Kyle Allen after Allen started most of last year for Rivera in Carolina. Allen has a leg up on knowledge of the offense over Haskins, but those two are locked in as the top-two quarterbacks entering the season.
Montez has a real shot at winning the third roster spot unless the team clears veteran Alex Smith to return to the field. If Smith is cleared, he might get sent elsewhere, so if Haskins and Allen struggle, then Montez could be in position to get consideration for playing time at some point. After a hot start last year, Allen's play crumbled during an eight-game losing streak. Haskins was the opposite as he started slow before playing better to close out the season. Haskins will get every opportunity to be the guy, but if he doesn't play well, it will be wide open competition for Montez to have a shot at sticking on the roster and growing from there. Montez was wise to sign with the Redskins.
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