View Full Version : Possibility and Actuality in the NFL Draft

04-06-2009, 01:50 PM
This time of year it is always fun to look at possible NFL draft picks and try and determine the best value selections for your team.

Would it be worth a low round draft pick for a player that accomplished the following in his college career?

1. Started at guard or center for 23 straight games for a major Division I football program.

2. His team plays in the Gator, Sugar and Insight Bowls during his playing time with a total 3 season record of 29 -10.

3. He had 125 knockdowns in 3 years and played 1,484 snaps his junior and senior years. He was First Team All Conference his senior year.

4. Pro Day stats – 6’3”, 312 lbs, 40 yard dash 4.94 (Jonathan Luigs 5.14, Eric Wood 5.25, A.Q. Shipley 5.26, Antoine Caldwell 5.30, Max Unger 5.35), - 35 reps at 225 lbs on bench (Shipley 33, Wood 30, Luigs 26, Caldwell 23, Unger 22). Broad Jump 8’6” (Caldwell 9’3”, Shipley 8’4”, Luigs 8’3”, Wood 8’3”, Unger 7’9”). Vertical 30” (Luigs 31”, Shipley 31”, Wood 30.5”, Caldwell 28”, Unger 24.5”). 3 Cone Drill 7.3 (Unger 7.39, Shipley 7.46, Wood 7.56, Luigs 7.69, Caldwell 7.96). 20 Yard Shuttle – 4.43 (Shipley 4.40, Luigs 4.40, Unger 4.50, Wood 4.51).

5. Weights/Strength - 460-pound bench press, 625-pound back squat, 390-pound power clean, and 391-pound push jerk.

6. Scout Evaluation - Has a solid frame with a thick upper body, well-developed chest and arms, broad shoulders, thick legs and solid calves...Durable athlete who never missed a game due to an injury...Has very good initial quickness off the snap and the lateral movement to be quite effective as a second level blocker on pulls and traps...Flashes good explosion in his hips coming out of his stance and has the hand quickness to recoil and punch...Does a good job of maintaining position with his strong base and anchors well, keeping his pads down to defeat the bull rush...Has the timed speed to quickly get out in space and locate the linebackers...Adjusts smoothly to a moving target, keeping his head on a swivel to pick up stunts...Has the hand placement skills to tie up and maul the defender when working in a phone booth. Shows the range to get out wide on sweeps and has the change of direction agility to redirect in-line after first bouncing out to the corner...Has a good work ethic and takes pride in the fact that he won conditioning awards the last two years.

7. Additional Evaluation - Is better as a closed quarter battler in pass protection rather than redirecting to pick up the edge rushers. He will keep his head in front and stays square through his blocks. He learned how to sink his hips, drop his weight and maintain leverage better in his anchor than he did in the past. Shows the ability to stay in control and it is rare to see him lunge into his blocks. He is most effective when he can grab and maul the defenders with his strength and is also capable of reaching and sliding to combat the quickness or moving fronts. With his speed and upper body power, he will be very efficient for the interior running game. He still needs to add lower body strength, but has the frame to improve. I feel he is a better prospect at center due to his hand placement and quickness, reminding me of the Vikings' Matt Birk.

This guy doesn’t sound too bad. He is strong, fast, durable, and has starting and playing experience at Virginia Tech University for 3 years. He is versatile and played both guard positions and center. The problem is; this is a player from the 2006 NFL draft, Will Montgomery.

Montgomery was drafted in the 7th round by the Carolina Panthers. He played in 6 games and started 4 of them in 2006. In that first NFL season, he played behind Justin Hartwig at center and Mike Wahle at guard. In the 2007 draft, Carolina selected Ryan Kalil out of USC, so Montgomery’s value as a backup center/guard took a hit . The Panthers cut Will Montgomery just before the 2007 regular season began. The Panther organization indicated that the team was hesitant to release Montgomery, and that the move was strictly a matter of numbers. The New York Jets needed a backup guard so they signed him in early September and he played behind Nick Mangold at center and Brandon Moore and Alan Faneca at guards. He played in 7 games with 2 starts for the Jets in 2007. In 2008 the Jets cut Montgomery on October 14th and then the Washington Redskins signed him in December. In 2008 Will Montgomery played in 0 games for the Jets and the Redskins. Montgomery is currently on the Washington Redskins roster.

So a seventh round draft pick, plays 3 years as a backup maybe that is better than expected in the NFL...

I selected Will Montgomery to write about because I watched him at Virginia Tech and thought he was a pretty good athlete that could play center in the NFL. I also wanted the Kansas City Chiefs to draft him with a late round pick in 2006. Maybe Will Montgomery can still become a starter for an NFL team that needs a center, but at this point it looks like Montgomery may be reaching the end of his possibilities in the NFL.

Rain Man
04-06-2009, 06:30 PM
You have to figure that there are some good players who never get their chance due to sheer luck. You get drafted by a team that has a strong starter, or the next year some guy at your position drops to them that they can't resist. The odds are that the best 32 centers in the NFL aren't the 32 starting centers, and the best 64 receivers aren't the 64 starting receivers.

04-06-2009, 09:15 PM
I agree there is always a bit of luck for a player making it in the NFL. Late round draft picks really have to land in the right place.

Will Montgomery had his big chance his first year in the league. In 2006 Carolina signed Justin Hartwig as a free agent from the Tennessee Titans. The second game into the season Hartwig went down with an injury and was put on IR. For the rest of the season, the Panthers used Geoff Hangartner as the center, Evan Mathis and Jeremy Bridges at guard. Montgomery got to start a few games and played in a few more. The next year Carolina drafted Ryan Kalil and with Hartwig back from IR, Montgomery was no longer needed.

With the NY Jets, Will was playing behind Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, and Brandon Moore so he really did not get much of a chance for playing time.

Another reason I went back to look at Montgomery, ESPN had him listed as a free agent and I wondered if he might be able to help the Chiefs at center. Every other site still has him with the Redskins. Maybe he will be able to make it with the Washington Redskins.