LSU defensive end Sam Montgomery has officially declared for the 2013 NFL draft, according to ESPN's Joe Schad.
LSU DEs Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery and DT Bennie Logan will all declare for the NFL draft together according to sources.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 6, 2013
Montgomery combined with Barkevious Mingo to be a devastating one-two punch for the LSU defense in the 2012 season. He racked up 12 tackles for a loss (second on the team) and seven sacks (first), while forcing a fumble in the process.
The 22-year-old out of South Carolina is widely projected to be a first-round pick in the draft. A strong, tough player with a good motor, Montgomery is built better to stop the run, but that didn't stop him from finding the quarterback in 2012. The young man shows good technique and is best when bull-rushing the passer.
If you're looking for character issues, you won't find any. He doesn't have a history of off-the-field problems and he's clearly dedicated to the game of football with the kind of passion that every NFL scout loves. In 2012 he played like he had something to prove, and what he proved is that he's not a guy who is going to dog it in the pros.
Montgomery projects best as a 4-3 defensive end given his ability to stop the run and the fact that he's not a prototypical pass-rusher.
You can never say for certain how a prospect will adjust to the pros, but given Montgomery's build, size, toughness and determination to become a better player, it's not out the question that he becomes a high-impact player who gives opposing offenses trouble.
Montgomery's big games against ranked SEC opponents South Carolina and Alabama in his junior campaign is a good sign of what's to come.