I remember hearing about this player a couple of weeks ago when he visited Denver and left without a contract. Other than that I had no clue who he was or what his play looks like. There are some things sentiments out there that I would like to address first:
- He was graded better in 2012 by PFF
Grades by PFF are so subjective. I like to use them as a reference but sometimes you just look at a grade week to week and something isn't quite right. Not only that, for linemen, that grade is usually influenced quite heavily by the play of the quarterback. RGIII played well in 2012, not so much in 2013.
Any lineman that starts here is going to benefit from Peyton Manning---see Chris Clark and Manny Ramirez. That does not necessarily make their skillsets valuable commodities to our offense.
- The Redskins were a mess last year, explains his drop off.
Umm, no. This is a lazy argument and one made by the Kool-Aid drinkers that would believe every move the Broncos make is gold. By taking this approach, I should just anoint Montgomery an All-Pro this very instant.
Yes a struggling team can cause a player to struggle. But that doesn't keep me from evaluating how that player plays consistently over a decent sample size. I do not view this player negatively if RGIII screwed up, understand? I watched action from about four different games on Montgomery, and that is enough to start to recognize patterns. With that said, here is what I saw.
- Gets pushed back at the point of attack consistently. This is true in pass protection and run blocking.
- Decent lateral movement for a C, bad lateral movement for a LG.
- Often plays too high off the snap allowing the DT to gain leverage advantage
- Gets to the 2nd level quick enough but also takes bad angles to potential blocks
- Has a good sense for helping others out in pass protection
- Feet look a bit clumsy at times almost as if he's playing in sand
The major red flags for me are his lack of strength and his footwork. Strength is a huge issue because in everygame I reviewed he was pushed back in the pocket quite a bit. As far as footwork it causes him to lose the leverage game when moving laterally to the line of scrimmage and to take bad angles when zone blocking to the 2nd level.
In my honest opinion he is a downgrade from Manny at C and a downgrade from Beadles at LG. You are not going to get the same strength from him at C and you're not going to get the same agility from him at LG.
The Broncos needed some depth along the line. Resigning Justice and signing Montgomery gives them that. I believe I've seen his contract to be worth approximately 1.3-1.4 million. If this is accurate, this figure is above the 855K vet minimum Montgomery qualified for with his experience.
If you field the best five Broncos linemen at this point, Montgomery misses the cut.
Depth I tell you, DEPTH!!!