Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
No athlete likes to be called a “tweener.” The term implies they lack the right combination of physical attributes to excel at their sport.
Montgomery may fall into that unfortunate category. He played defensive end for LSU as one of those speedy linemen the SEC in known for. Unfortunately, his 262 pounds is not enough mass to make the transition to the next level.
The thought was to move him to outside linebacker. His skills were fine when pursuit was required in just one direction. However, during his week at the Senior Bowl the coaches kept him at DE because of an “an inability to play in space.”
The Texans’ head scout Mike Maccagnan saw things differently:
"He has real good quickness, good ability to ‘convert to power’ is a term we use, a power-oriented rusher. But he also has real good speed and quickness to get on the edge and bend and turn the corner."
A series of bad interviews at the combine also hurt his draft chances. Paul Kuharsky mentioned this in his AFC South blog for ESPN, but failed to cite any specifics. It all sounds like little more than locker room gossip.
Still, when the question marks start to pile up, this sort of prospect can start to feel the pressure. Montgomery has chosen Antonio Smith as his mentor, one of the most lighthearted souls on the squad. Then the question becomes, “Can the Texans handle two Ninja Assassins on the same team?”