It’s no secret that the Bucs are looking to add a pass rusher. Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat may very well be that guy. He has so many of the tools you’d want in quality NFL pass rusher. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about.
The first thing that jumps off the screen to me is his length. Sweat is a tall, long-armed defensive lineman who knows how to use that to his advantage. This is evident versus both the run and the pass. For example in the clip below, Sweat extends his arms to drive his opponent back to generate pressure on the quarterback:
Sweat is more than just lengthy, he’s also fairly strong. Although he looks fairly lean, he can hold his own at the point of attack and against just about any offensive tackle in the country. The clip below shows Sweat matched up against potential first-round draft pick Dalton Risner who is known as one of the most physical blockers in this draft. Notice how Sweat gives up almost no ground and then works towards the play.
Starting to get an idea of what Sweat brings to the table? Well, allow me to continue because there is so much worth talking about.
Sweat is more than just a long, strong defensive end who can play the run. He also has the burst and agility to be a very good NFL pass rusher. You can see below how quickly Sweat gets off the line of scrimmage and into the quarterback’s face:
One thing some people question with Sweat is his ability to turn the corner and bend the edge. However, I think these concerns are somewhat overblown. There have been times that Sweat has been able to run around the offensive tackle with relative ease. You can see this in the play below.
Sweat is matched up against widely regarded future top ten pick, Jonah Williams. Here you can see that Sweat runs nearly a complete circle around Williams to catch the ball carrier from behind and make a tackle. This is the same type of bend needed to be an outside pass rusher in the NFL.
While Sweat might not be a dominant prospect like Joey Bosa or an elite athlete like Ed Oliver, I believe he has all the tools needed to be a quality 4-3 defensive end at the next level. He could use a little technical work with the way he uses his hands and gets off blocks which may cause him to slide to the back end of the first round or even the early second. If he’s available at pick 39, then I think the Bucs need to strongly consider drafting him.