Montez Sweat is coming off not only an impressive senior season at Mississippi State, but he was the best player at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and followed that up with a lights-out performance at the combine in Indianapolis. And while the medical staff reportedly uncovered a pre-existing heart condition during a routine examination at the combine, according to, Sweat was cleared to participate in the event. A year ago, Michigan's Maurice Hurst, considered a first-round pick, was sent home from the combine after doctors discovered a heart condition and he was eventually drafted in the fifth round.

In light of the news regarding Sweat, his agents released this statement: "Because of privacy issues we are not allowed to comment specifically. But I will tell you that this is not news. Montez is the same person that was medically cleared to play and dominate the SEC, the Senior Bowl, and the NFL combine. No change in health and no change in domination!"

College career

Sweat played high school football in Georgia and committed to Michigan State. He appeared in one game as a freshman in 2014 and logged a sack. Sweat redshirted in 2015 and then transferred to Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi. Despite offers from LSU and Texas A&M, he committed to Mississippi State in 2017 where he had 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss as a junior.  Sweat returned for his senior season and improved on his sack totals: 12.5 to go along with 14.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Among all FBS edge rushers, Sweat ranked No. 1 in Pro Football Focus' run-stop percentage, and he was ninth in their pass-rush productivity metric. 

Combine/pro day results





260 pounds


35 1/4 inches


10 1/2 inches


40-yard dash:


Bench press:


Vertical jump:


Broad jump:


3-cone drill:


20-yard shuttle:


60-yard shuttle:


Here's Sweat blazing that 4.41 40 at the combine:


Strengths: Sweat looks like an NFL defensive end. He's coming off a strong season at Mississippi State and only reconfirmed his ability to dominate at the Senior Bowl. He uses his strength and hands to overpower offensive linemen and get into the backfield though he'll need to prove he's flexible enough to regularly win on the edge.

Here's Sweat showing off his strength in one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl:

And here he is using his quickness to beat an offensive lineman off the snap:

Weaknesses: There are questions about whether Sweat has the flexibility to routinely get to quarterbacks at the top of the arc, and if he can consistently disengage from offensive lineman in both the pass and run game.

NFL comparison

From CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Chris Trapasso:

Danielle Hunter. Hunter was a tall, somewhat lanky but freaky athlete who many believed had his best football in front of him once he got to the NFL. Despite his twitch and speed-to-power skills, there were questions about his bend around the corner. Everything I just wrote here applies to Sweat, and he's coming off a 12-sack, 14.5-tackle-for-loss season at Mississippi State. Like Hunter, Sweat deploys his long arms ferociously, and his elite explosiveness translates to serious point-of-attack power. Because he's pretty tall, Sweat isn't the bendiest around the edge, but his motor never stops.

NFL teams in play to draft Sweat

Buccaneers: Could Sweat work his way into a top-five selection? Sure. This seems like the ceiling of where he might be drafted but the Bucs have needs all over their defense -- edge rusher, cornerback and linebacker chief among them -- and if their doctors clear Sweat medically, he could hear his name called early on draft day.

Giants: In the days following the combine it seemed like the Giants weren't interested in taking a quarterback sixth overall. If that is indeed the case -- and we remain skeptical -- adding a pass rusher makes a lot of sense, especially since the team traded Olivier Vernon to the Browns. The team could also address the position with the No. 17 pick (that's the one they acquired from the Browns in the Odell Beckham trade) and depending on how the draft board unfolds, Sweat could be available then.

Panthers: Carolina has the No. 16 selection and in addition to offensive line help, they need to bolster the pass rush; Julius Peppers has retired and Mario Addison, who is 31, has one year left on his deal. Sweat would be a boon in the middle of Round 1.

Lions: Detroit has been linked to Rashan Gary, in part because he played at nearby Michigan. But Sweat was more productive in college and would be a logical replacement for Ziggy Ansah on a remade line with big free-agent signing Trey Flowers.

Raiders: Oakland, who traded Khalil Mack and cut Bruce Irvin during the 2018 season, desperately need a pass rusher. And while No. 4 may be too early to draft Sweat, the team could trade back from No. 4 or package subsequent picks (they have the 24th and 27th selections too) to move up in the middle of the round to grab him.