NAME: Montez Sweat
SCHOOL: Mississippi State
POSITION: Edge Defender
JERSEY: No. 9
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 241 lbs
Hand Technique – Hands work tirelessly in efforts to set on the chest of blockers before clubbing or ripping off of a block and into a pursuit role. Hand punch is timed well and recovery strength to pop the hands out and establish a crease enables late disengage vs. the run.
Pass Rush Counters – Best counters are push/pull combination, rip/club and power rushes. Linear explosiveness yields success why trying to collapse the pocket. Does not have the hip mobility to drop the inside shoulder and work hips across the frame of blockers, takes wide angled corners.
Flexibility – Reaches the apex of his rushes and either needs to be disengaged or will be ridden past the pocket. Has a great anchor at the line of scrimmage as a power player to squat and hold ground. Slipperiness in space is limited due to struggles getting small through gaps.
Run Defending – Terrific ability to lock horns with offensive tackles and length/wingspan leaves space open to duck back across the face of the block and challenge a ball carrier in outside-in leveraged reps or as a potential two-gap defender. Sets the edge effectively.
Competitive Toughness – Tenacious effort to sustain separation at the line of scrimmage. Second effort as a pass rusher leaves something to be desired, can get swallowed up despite length. Functional play strength is setting the line of scrimmage is amplified by long arms and extension.
Tackling – Wingspan is massive, will provide a lot of headaches off the edge with area of influence. Wrap up efforts are followed with a roll to ensure the legs of ball carriers are snared and avoid broken tackles. Can struggle to stay head up with ball carriers at the mesh point.
Lateral Mobility – Struggles in lateral redirection skills due to a tight base. Narrow hips don’t hinge or open easily and as a result burst in gaining width or mirroring a cut is typically delayed. Legs don’t extend from underneath of the hips with much success or range.
Stand Up Ability – Stand up success has been limited to role as a slash/twist/stunt defender to loop over a gap inside before turning into interior gaps and crashing into the face of the quarterback. Will not offer any value from a second level role or in zone coverage.
Football IQ – Technically refined defender with his hands. Ceiling as a pass rusher will be limited due to tightness but has illustrated pass rush counters that can effectively transition him to the NFL game and allow for pressures on a consistent basis.
CONS: Sets the edge but can be control and widened from gap due to high pad level and lack of functional strength. Must get stronger. Struggles to disengage and create a ton of movement with power moves. Pad level must drop. Slight false step at times out of 2-point stance. Good, not great bend. Could benefit from a spin move in his arsenal. Also a cross-chop.
BEST TRAIT – Length
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
BEST FILM – Kansas State (2018)
WORST FILM – Alabama (2017)
RED FLAGS – None
Montez Sweat projects favorably as a base 4-3 defensive end at the NFL level. Sweat illustrates textbook extension in his attack of blocks and his separation skills enable to him win at the line of scrimmage with consistency. Sweat’s lack of mobility through the hips will restrict him as a space defender, he needs to play with his hand in the dirt at all times to make the most of his linear explosiveness and skills stacking blockers.