As the draft nears, teams are putting their final analysis' on the players they think could be sporting their uniforms come Fall. Without question, LSU defensive end/outside linebacker Sam Montgomery will be in camp with one of the 32 teams.
But Montgomery is an interesting case.
At the beginning of the 2012 college football season, Montgomery seemed like a sure-fire, top-10 pick. His blend of size, speed and athleticism had teams drooling over his future.
But an off junior year and some questions about his work ethic have cause a slide in the once-prominent prospect's stock. With that said, he still possess the ability to be one of the best pass rushers in the draft, if he can live up to his potential.
Here's everything you need to know about this former Tigers pass rusher.
Full Name: Sidney Sammual Montgomery
Birthday: May 25,1990 (22 years old)
Hometown: Greenwood, S.C.
High School: Greenwood High School
Major: Sports Administration
Sam Montgomery was born on May 25, 1990 in Greenwood, S.C. Montgomery was a phenom throughout his high school days in South Carolina, playing for Greenwood HS.
Montgomery's junior campaign garnered him a ton of national interest from college scouts as he recorded 20 tackles-for-loss and 15 sacks. He followed that performance up with an equally stellar showing his senior year: 85 tackles and 11 sacks.
Montgomery was the No. 2 rated defense end by ESPNU for the class of 2009 and was named to the South Carolina All-State team. He was also honored with a spot on the White squad of the Under Armour All-American Bowl.
The Rivals-rated, four-star prospect had offers from 13 major college programs and took visits LSU, Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee before deciding to play for the Tigers.
Freshman: Redshirt Season
Freshman (RS): Montgomery opened the Tigers season as the starting defensive end and remained in that position for the first five games of the 2010 campaign. Unfortunately, Montgomery sustained a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of LSU's game against Tennessee.
Despite the injury, Montgomery was still selected to the SEC All-Freshman team for his efforts in the 2010 season.
2010 Stat Line: 18 tackles, six TFL, two sacks
Sophomore (RS): Following the knee injury, Montgomery returned to the field and played in all 14 of LSU's games in 2011, starting 11. He went on to lead the Tigers in sacks through the 2011 season and was named to All-American teams by FWAW (First Team), SI.com (Second Team) and The Associated Press (Third Team).
2011 Stat Line: 49 tackles, 13.5 TFL, nine sacks, one FF
Junior (RS): In what would be his final season at LSU, Montgomery played 13 games for the Tigers and started 10. He finished the season ranked fifth in the conference in sacks and tied for eighth in tackles-for-loss.
Montgomery was again named to All-American teams by SI.com and the AP and for the first time by Walter Camp and CBSSports.com. He was also named a first-team All-SEC performer and was the conference's Defensive Lineman of the week twice.
2012 Stat Line: 37 tackles, 13 TFL, eight sacks, one FF
Weight: 260 lbs.
Arm Length: 33.87"
Hand Size: 9.25"
40-Yard Dash: 4.81
Vertical Jump: 34.5 in.
Broad Jump: 114 in.
3-Cone Drill: 7.18
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.51
*Bench Press: 22 reps
*From Pro Day; Did not perform at Combine
- Montgomery's 4.81 40-yard dash time ranked him 12th among all defensive linemen invited to the scouting combine.
- The 22 bench press reps would have ranked Montgomery somewhere in the 30s compared to the rest of the defensive linemen.
- Montgomery is tied for 15th best among defensive linemen in the 20-yard shuttle times at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Combine Results from NFL.com
- Montgomery's original birth name is "Sidney Sammual Montgomery"
- Sam was not only a football standout at Greenwood High School but excelled in basketball as well under head coach Shell Dula
- Nicknamed "Sonic" Sam
- Began his academic career at LSU majoring in General Studies before making the transition to Sports Administration.
- Hometown of Greenwood, S.C. is home to current NFL players Josh Norman and Armanti Edwards as well as former players Robert Brooks, Ben Coates and Gaines Adams.
- Tied for sixth in LSU history in career sacks (19) and eighth in tackles-for-loss (32.5)
- Ted Hendricks Award Finalist in 2011 and 2012
This lean All-SEC pick and Ted Hendricks Award finalist used very good quickness and a high motor to rack up nine sacks and chase down ball carriers all over the field in 2011. Like his high-profile teammate, Barkevious Mingo, Montgomery’s progression as a defensive player stagnated during his LSU career. Montgomery has some limitations as a pass rusher, but is a high motor player who holds his ground well against the run and constantly making tackles in pursuit. He figures to go on the second day of the NFL draft, projecting to a second or early third round pick.
Matt DeLima, FFToolbox:
LSU's Sam Montgomery is a versatile defensive end prospect who can play either the 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB spots. Although his best attributes are his strength, toughness, and run defense, Montgomery is a legit pass-rusher as well who should hear his name called in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The 6'5", 260 lb. junior plays with good pad level and drives into blockers to collapse the pocket. He plays in the backfield with a high motor and can clog running lanes. His active hands can push around opponents and put himself into position to make a play on the ball. Projects best as a 4-3 DE, assuming he continues to add bulk.
Adam Jahns, Chicago Sun-Times:
The headlines didn't look good for LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery after he met the media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He soon became the NFL prospect who got into trouble for being too honest. He was the NFL prospect who admitted to taking plays, even games off and who had bets going with his teammates.
Of course, his draft stock tumbled in almost every single mock draft afterward.
Montgomery went from being projected as a first-rounder to potentially a third-rounder with character risks for teams to seriously consider when evaluating him.
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report:
Click the link and check out B/R's own Matt Miller discussing LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery and his pro prospects!
I like Montgomery a whole lot more as a defensive end than an outside linebacker. He's got good explosion and quickness off the edge, and he'll need to either add bulk or get faster depending on what position he ends up playing at the next level.
Like Jahns said, Montgomery is one of the few guys who's stock dropped because they were honest. I credit Montgomery for his honesty, but no matter who you're playing, you have to consider your college career as a three-to-four-year job interview.
It's fair to say Montgomery underachieved at LSU, especially considering he didn't start three games in each of his last two seasons. Clearly, the Tigers' coaching staff had a problem with his work ethic and weren't afraid to say so to NFL scouts.
Regardless, Montgomery is a talent that cannot be ignored and could be a steal for anyone in the second or third round. He'll certainly need to be pushed by his coaches and it's really up to him as to just how good he can be.