March 24, 2018

Digging Deep: Sam Montgomery

In this 4th part of our Digging Deep series, we look at the Houston Texans’ fourth pick inside the top 100 players of the draft in outside linebacker Sam Montgomery. Montgomery was taken with the supplemental draft pick that was awarded to the Texans from losing Mario Williams to the Buffalo Bills.

Montgomery was a defensive end at Louisiana State University but it looks like he will be switched to a strong side outside linebacker. We talked to Billy Gomila from and The Valley Shook, an LSU blog covering the Tigers.


Digging Deep


Sam Montgomery

Sam Montgomery

What do you think about Montgomery falling to the 3rd round? Is it a product of his interviews or his play on the field?

It’s a little of both. His junior season wasn’t quite as productive as everybody would’ve hoped, and when he was asked, he made it no secret: he didn’t play his hardest against a schedule that didn’t feature as many big games in 2012. When Sam Montgomery finishes a game against somebody like Towson, with two tackles, its a safe bet he was loafing it. And when asked at the NFL Combine, he gave an honest answer.


Do you think Montgomery benefited the most from the talent that LSU put on the field in 2012, or was he one of the better players?

If you asked me who was the better college player out of Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, I would’ve taken Sam every day. That said, everybody on LSU’s defensive line in the last two seasons benefited from their teammates: two first-round picks (Mingo and Michael Brockers last year) plus a pair of later round guys like Montgomery and Bennie Logan (taken by the Philadelphia Eagles), with more likely coming in the near future as well. So the answer’s ultimately a little column A, a little column B.


Montgomery sounds like he will make the transition to a stand up edge player. Do you think his talent will help or hurt this move?

To be perfectly honest, I would’ve guessed he’d be a better fit with his hand on the ground. Sam has a tremendous first step but he’s not an elite 40 guy like a Mingo or a DeMarcus Ware, and he never showed the kind of movement in space you’d think you would want. My first guess when I saw the Texans took him, was that he’d be groomed as a bigger 5-technique pass-rusher, similar to J.J. Watt. However, Wade Phillips is a really good defensive mind and knows how to fit guys into his style. I’d trust him.


What did Montgomery mean to the LSU program?

Sam was one of the real heartbeats of the team the last few seasons. He came to school as a really highly recruited defensive end and met the hype about as well as could be expected. He was at his best in the team’s biggest games, especially Alabama in recent years, and always carried himself well in interviews (aside from his attack of over-honesty at the combine). He’s also a fun-loving character with a Sonic the Hedgehog obsession. Fans will love him.


Montgomery getting the quarterback.

Montgomery getting the quarterback.

What type of player do you think the Texans are getting with Montgomery?

Montgomery seems a bit miscast as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he definitely has NFL talent. When he’s dialed in, he’s a high-motor guy that can really burst off of the line and uses his hands incredibly well. What’s more, he was always a very tough run defender despite not being the biggest of ends in the SEC. I’m not sure I could ever see him being a star in the NFL, but I can easily see him being a good starting-caliber player for a long time, barring injury of course.


What do you expect of Montgomery at the next level with the Texans?

From a football perspective, I’m very curious as to how Phillips will use him. He might need to shed a little weight to play in a two-point stance, but as a third-round pick that’s hardly a big risk, and if it doesn’t work out I think he could shift to 3-4 defensive end very well. NFL teams can always use talented defensive linemen and I think Houston will enjoy having Sam. Like I said, he’s also a character that should fit in well in most locker rooms.

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